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Trump reinstated and Kanye West returns as more layoffs loom: Twitter LIVE

Is this the end?

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(Image: © Future)

New reports indicate Twitter is at risk of breaking imminently following a mass exodus of employees, as the Elon Musk takeover saga continues.

Last week it was reported that "lots" of employees had not signed up for Elon Musk's Twitter 2.0 hardcore edition that would see workers putting in long hours and an end to remote work. Now Reuters cites an employee who claims Twitter could break "overnight" (any minute now) and that there is no one at Twitter left to fix it.

Now, Elon Musk has reinstated Donald Trump after running a poll. Other controversial figures including Jordan Peterson and Kanye West have also returned to the platform. Apple's Phil Schiller has quietly left.

 Here's the latest as the situation unfolds.

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Here come more layoffs.

Now confirmed, it seems that more layoffs have hit Twitter's sales team this morning. Elon Musk reportedly held a short-notice all-hands meeting on Sunday night with the sales team, but didn't mention layoffs...

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Jack White departs Twitter

Jack White deactivated his Third Man Records record label account after Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump at the weekend. In a scathing Instagram post he wrote:

You did a lot of amazing things with Tesla, Elon, and you deserve a lot of compliments in that department (i personally supported the hell out of that venture), but you've gone too far and are now using your power to promote horrible, violence inducing liars, who are taking the country and the world backwards and endangering the democracy that made you rich and successful in the first place. I am a believer in free speech, but for example i’m not about to let the KKK hold a rally at our record label's performance stage. 

A post shared by Jack White (@officialjackwhite) (opens in new tab)

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Musk draws the line at Alex Jones

Elon Musk has reinstated Donald Trump and restored the accounts of Kanye West and Jordan Peterson. However, when asked about Alex Jones, Musk seemingly reneged on his promise to end lifetime bans, giving a hard "no" to Twitter users on the subject and citing very personal reasons for the position. 

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Twitter UK Md quits

Twitter's UK MD Dara Nasr has reportedly left the company, according to Campaign.

Head of ad sales gone... 

According to Platformer's Casey Newton, Elon Musk fired Robin Wheeler, Twitter's head of ad sales, just days after she tried to resign and Musk begged her to stay. 

Twitter fails on racist abuse as World Cup kicks off...

New research reportedly shows that 99 out of 100 racist tweets aimed at football players were not removed by Twitter in the week leading up to the World Cup. The Guardian reports Center for Countering Digital Hate research that reveals "100 tweets reported to Twitter. Of those, 11 used the N-word to describe footballers, 25 used monkey or banana emojis directed at players, 13 called for players to be deported, and 25 attacked players by telling them to “go back to” other countries. Thirteen tweets targeted footballers over their English skills." Only one of the tweets, which all mentioned players by name or tagged them, was removed. Many were posted beneath official tweets from clubs or news sites. 

Trump says no...

Donald Trump said over the weekend that he has no interest in returning to Twitter, despite Musk's poll and the former president's subsequent reinstatement. "I don't see any reason for it," Trump told a panel at the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting, Reuters reports. Instead, Trump says he'll stick with Truth Social. 

Donald Trump Twitter Account

(Image credit: Future)

Phil Schiller

(Image credit: Apple )

Phil Schiller quietly leaves Twitter

Apple's head of events and the App Store Phil Schiller quietly deactivated his Twitter account over the weekend. With Twitter now pushing its Twitter Blue subscription through platforms like the iPhone and iOS, Apple will score 15-30% in commission on those sales, possibly setting up an Epic Games-like showdown with Twitter and Elon Musk. 

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Twitter features seem to be breaking, slowly but surely

Twitter isn't imploding as rapidly as expected, but that does not mean the platform is safe. It appears that many users are seeing broken functionality across Twitter. An example is the latest string of copyright violations being perpetrated by a bunch of users that are posting entire films and TV episodes as a series of clips on Twitter. It took a long time for most of these violations to get caught. Additionally, users are reporting other issues across the site.

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Kanye West makes a return to Twitter as his account seems to have been "unblocked"

Kanye West, better known as Ye, has made a return to Twitter. His account was suspended for violating Twitter's community guidelines around hate speech  a few weeks ago, but later reinstated after Musk's takeover. Ye hadn't tweeted since then, however, but seems to have returned to the platform as Twitter reinstated other suspended accounts including that of Donald Trump.

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CBS News pauses and resumes advertising on Twitter

Advertiser panic on Twitter has been widespread since the Musk acquisition, and the latest example is CBS News. The outlet paused its advertising on Twitter, and then hours later resumed it. The advertising was suspended citing security concerns, and NBC News PR has said that it is monitoring the situation even after resuming activity on Twitter.

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Another major executive, Sarah Rose, head of US content partnerships, leaves Twitter

It looks like Twitter can't stop bleeding talent from all directions. After Donald Trump's return to Twitter and reports that Musk is planning for more layoffs, Twitter's head of US content partnerships, Sarah Rose, has decided to leave Twitter after eight-and-a-half years at the company. This is an important role from a monetization standpoint, so it'll be interesting to see how the departure affects Twitter's moneymaking plans.

Elon Musk

(Image credit: Recode)

Twitter could lay off more employees on Monday, this time in Sales

A new report from Bloomberg says that Musk is planning more layoffs at Twitter on Monday. It appears that Musk will be laying off folks on the sales and partnership side of the business this time around. Twitter currently has been reduced to about a third of its workforce numbers since before the Musk takeover, and it looks like we may see that number further reduce.

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Donald Trump returns to Twitter

It looks like Donald Trump is back on Twitter. After running a poll to make the decision, Elon Musk has reinstated former US president Donald Trump's account. Musk quoted "Vox Populi, Vox Dei" once again while making the announcement, as the poll concluded 51.8% vs 48.2% in favor of Trump, with over 15 million votes on the poll. Donald Trump is yet to tweet from his newly reinstated account.

Twitter logo sweating

(Image credit: Future)

1,200 more employees might have left Twitter after Musk's last ultimatum

A new report by the New York Times estimates that 1,200 more employees might have left Twitter after Musk's last ultimatum which asked employees to prepare for tough times ahead, or leave. NYT estimates that Twitter had 3,700 out of its 7,500 employees remaining after the mass layoffs, and the latest number seems to have dwindled down to around 2,500.

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Elon does a late night code review at Twitter HQ

Elon tweeted out pictures of his code review at Twitter, showing himself with a bunch of Twitter employees at the HQ building. There's also a flow chart of the Twitter services, which seems to be indicating how the platform operates, although it seems very basic in nature, and has folks questioning why it was called a "code review."

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Twitter as the town hall, powered by Polls

It certainly looks like Musk's user poll to decide whether to let Donald Trump back onto the platform is doing well. Chief "Twit" noted that the poll is getting 1M votes an hour, but there's no disclosure on how many of these aren't from the bot accounts Musk almost ended his Twitter deal over. 

Regardless, it will be interesting to see if Musk takes the town hall approach seriously, and what comes of it.

A number have events have, of course, occurred throughout the evening. For one, Robin Wheeler, the advertising executive who Musk had reportedly begged to stay just weeks ago, has been fired from the company according to Casey Newton. 

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Musk has also sent a company-wide email that tells employees that they should be ready for random code reviews with the new owner. That report came in from Platformer editor Zoë Schiffer.

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Musk himself has taken to the platform and ran a poll if former President Donald Trump should be reinstated to Twitter. At the time of this being published, the poll sits at 56% in favor. Underneath that poll, he tweeted “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which translates to “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

Musk appears to be hinting that he could leave Trump’s reinstatement to Twitter users themselves.

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Fly if you can...

Not only has Elon Musk asked all engineers to reports to the 10th floor at 2pm, and email him a bullet point summary "of what your code commits have achieved in the past 6 months," he also suggested in an email for remote engineers that he would rather speak to them in person and said "if possible, I would encourage you to fly to SF to present in person..."

Reinstatements not named Trump

Musk has announced Twitter reinstatements for Kathie Griffin, Jorden Peterson & Babylon Bee. Still no word on whether former President Donald Trump will be allowed on the platform, especially now that he's once again an official presidential candidate. 

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Elon's latest

Elon has announced a "freedom of speech" policy for Twitter. The key takeaway: "Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted & demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter."

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Twitter

(Image credit: The Wall Street Journal)

The Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay has a great piece online asking whether the end of Twitter would mean going back to talking in real life. 

Here's a taste of Gay's take: "It feels cozy, honestly, the idea of turning inward, among friends, without the temptation to share every last remark with the universe. Don’t get me wrong: I still want to know your thoughts about the Oscars and the Super Bowl halftime show. I really want to know how you are doing in line at the airport. Next time, tell me in person." on the mess. 

Political agitator Ben Shapiro on the weekend's events... 

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That's a lot of people

Fortune Magazine's Kylie Robison states that between 1,000 and 1,200 Twitter employees have now called it quits (opens in new tab). That number could perhaps climb even higher as the day goes on. It will be interesting to see where these people go, given that many tech companies are cutting back on hires. 

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He wants to know!

Elon Musk is asking a simple question right now on Twitter: "What should Twitter do next?" If you have an opinion that doesn't include nasty words or Musk criticism, it's probably a question worth answering in the pubic square. 

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We have it covered

Our  Joe Wituschek makes us smile at iMore either through Slack or by reading his tweets. Right on, man. 

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Which way is it, Elon?

It's an interesting point to make and very much correct. Do the security cards even work anymore for anyone to get in the buildings?

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Who got paid?

That is an interesting take. Perhaps all was lost, so Musk was the golden parachute they grabbed to get the cash. Unfortunately, the move ultimately means many folks are out of a job either through furloughs or because they decided it was time to run out the doors. 

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In all seriousness

Bryan here; I'm not convinced Twitter is suddenly going away, although I wouldn't be surprised to see it shut down in the short term, either deliberately by Musk or through internal sabotage. Regardless, something's going to have to give. I'd suggest the starting point would be for Musk to stop with the constant tweets. From there, bring someone else in to run the day-to-day. 

Interesting times

Just the Friday morning email people want to get ... 

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Kick It Out Chair warns of World Cup abuse

The chairman of soccer's anti-discrimination body Kick It Out says he is "deeply concerned" that layoffs in Twitter's trust and safety team could spell trouble ahead of the World Cup.  

The Guardian reports that Sanjay Bhandari fears "that industrial-scale levels of hate during the World Cup will go unchecked by Twitter.” He criticised Twitter's moderation for being "opaque, inconsistent and understaffed at the best of times" and worries that Twitter will struggle to cope with a massive influx of engagement. There have been separate concerns that the huge rise in activity could spell disaster for Twitter, which has decimated many of the teams critical to keeping the site running. 

All time high...

Elon Musk has been quick to point out several new all-time high user records since he joined the platform, most recently overnight

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Good luck joining Twitter 2.0

Maybe Twitter under Elon Musk sounds like a good time, but good luck joining. The company currently has no job listings available... 

Twitter no results screen

(Image credit: Future)

Video:

A Twitter employee shared a video on Twitter showing a group of coworkers counting down to Elon Musk's Twitter 2.0 deadline and their imminent firing from the company. 

"Everybody here, we're all about to get fired from Twitter. I've been ... nine years and nine months