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Twitter shutting down: summary news 18 November

Update:
Twitter offices closed to staff: Live updates

Twitter Shutdown: Latest Updates

Musk delights at Twitter poll engagement

The new Twitter owner has always been known as a keen self-publicist and a poll posted yesterday has shown Elon Musk's flair for the dramatic. Just days after former President Trump announced his candidacy for the 20224 presidential election, Musk appeared to float the possibility of allowing Trump to return to Twitter. 

Will it happen? Who knows at this stage, but Musk has always painted himself as a freedom of speech advocate and would likely increase interest in Twittr further if he allowed Trump back. 

Hate speech will not be able to reach as many eyes

Elon Musk has announced updates to Twitter's algorithm that makes it harder for posts that include hate speech or have a negative tone to reach users. Musk has said that those interested in this content will have to search it out for themselves and that the tweets themselves will be "deboosted & demonetized.

NYT reports that internal documents estimate 1,200 additional employees left on Tuesday

Elon Musk gave Twitter employees remaining that they have a choice: work additional hours at a more intense pace or leave with three months pay. 

No official reports have been released on the number of employees that opted to leave, but the NYT is reporting that the figure could be as high as 1,200. This would nearly cut the employee base in half again after 3,500 employees were laid off in early November. It is getting harder and harder to imagine how the platform will remain operating with a fraction of the employees who run key functions and maintenance on this site. 

Former trust and safety chief on future of Twitter

Yoel Roth, who last week left his role as head of trust and safety at Twitter, has penned an op-ed in the New York Times about the future of Twitter under Elon Musk.

"Longer term, the moderating influences of advertisers, regulators and - most critically of all - app stores may be welcome for those of us hoping to avoid an escalation in the volume of dangerous speech online," Roth writes.

"Twitter will have to balance its new owner’s goals against the practical realities of life on Apple and Google’s internet - no easy task for the employees who have chosen to remain. And as I departed the company, the calls from the app review teams had already begun."

Twitter investor: Platform "has never been more profitable"

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Twitter investor Binance, has come out in support of Elon Musk’s stewardship of the social-media platform.

“I’m more confident in Twitter than ever with Elon Musk taking over,” Zhao told CNN. “I support all the things he did. I support all the decisions he did […]. 

“Twitter is not going down: I’m can tell you why. Twitter has never been more profitable in its entire existence than in the last two weeks under Elon.”

Trump Twitter decision "not yet made" - Musk

Assuming there is even still going to be a Twitter, it remains unclear whether or not Donald Trump will be allowed back on to the platform under Elon Musk.

Musk tweeted a short while ago that a “decision has not yet been made” on reinstating the former president’s Twitter account.

"What should Twitter do next?"

Earlier, Musk tweeted this:

"If possible, I would encourage you to fly to SF"

Here's more from Platformer managing editor Zoë Schiffer, who reports that Elon Musk has emailed remote Twitter engineers asking to speak to them today - and is only open to video calls if they "cannot physically get to Twitter HQ".

Otherwise - because of course we all have planes readily at our disposal - "I would encourage you to fly to SF [San Francisco] to present in person," he says. Weren't Twitter offices supposed to be closed, though?

Twitter employees "heartbroken"

CNN’s Camila Bernal has quoted Twitter employees who say they are “heartbroken” and “in mourning” over the events at the social-media company.
 

Bizarre new update from inside Twitter

Zoe Schiffer, Managing Editor at technology news site Platformer, is reporting that Elon Musk has sent out a seemingly panicked call for help. Musk's brief stint in charge of Twitter has been characterised by a scattergun approach that saw him publically suggest, introduce and then restrict access to a paid verification system that caused chaos on the site. 

Quite what he has in mind for the lucky engineers selected for this new software-writing task is anyone's guess. 

Musk dismisses calls for congressional investigation

In the immediate aftermath of Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy suggested that Congress may need to authorise an investigation into Musk's links to foreign regimes. 

“We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in repressing political speech and impacting US politics, are now the second-largest owner of a major social media platform,” Murphy wrote. 

Unsurprisingly, Musk has fired back on that and pointed to the ongoing collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Quite where Musk's bizarre posting spree will turn next is anyone's guess, but his remarks give some insight into the man currently overseeing the Twitter debacle. 

What does Elon Musk's letter mean for employers?

It's been nearly two days since the now-infamous letter from Elon Musk was circulated to employees, demanding that they work harder and longer for the company as part of a new "hardcore" push. But, while Musk's letter warned that anyone not indicating their willingness to work to these demands would be let go, the legal repurcussions of such a move are slightly different. 

Is Twitter shutting down?

The offices of Twitter are going to be closed to all employees until Monday, 21 November as the company seeks to deal with mass staff walk-outs in response to an ultimatum issued by the new owner on Wednesday. 

In an internal email to staff, Elon Musk wrote: "Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade."

This abrupt demand to a body of staff already unimpressed by Musk's early stewardship of the company appears to have backfired, and scores of vital workers have left Twitter. 

How much money does Twitter make in a year and what percent does Elon Musk own?

LATEST NEWS

How much money does Twitter make in a year and what percent does Elon Musk own?

How has Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter unravelled so quickly? The chaos of recent weeks has been sparked in part by Musk's desperation to make the site more profitable after he overpaid for the company. Staff lay-offs, paid verification and demands for greater work from his staff are all an effort to boost the bottom line. 

But why? Well it turns out that Twitter isn't as profitable as many would have thought...

What is Blue Sky, Jack Dorsey's new social media site?

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has wasted little time since leaving Twitter and it thought to be close to released the first version of a new-look social media platform, Bluesky. The decentralised technology is designed to give users greater ownership over the platform and guard against the type of takeover Elon Musk conducted of Twitter. 

"The next step is to start testing the protocol. Distributed protocol development is a tricky process," Bluesky claimed in a news release last Tuesday. "It requires coordination from many parties once a network is deployed, so we're going to start in private beta to iron out issues.

"As we beta test, we'll continue to iterate on the protocol specs and share details about how it works. When it's ready, we'll move to the open beta."

Message to Musk on the side of Twitter HQ

Last night, as news of the internal revolt against new Twitter owner Elon Musk broke, activists sent a message to the new boss on the side of the company's San Fransisco headquarters. In recent hours concern about the viability of Twitter has spread, with some suggesting that the site could go down over the weekend unless more engineers are brought on board. 

What are the alternatives to Twitter if Elon Musk’s company shuts down?

TECHNOLOGY

What are the alternatives to Twitter if Elon Musk’s company shuts down?

Despite having only taken charge a few weeks ago, Elon Musk has managed to alienate the majority of Twitter staff and left the company on the verge of a shutdown going into the weekend. The final straw for many was an internal memo in which he demanded staff sign up for “long hours at high intensity,” or leave.

This has sparked real concern that Twitter could lose functionality without staff in place to assist. If the unthinkable were to happen and Twitter goes under, where else can you look for an alternative platform?

We take a look at the services offered by Mastodon, CounterSocial and Reddit...

Twitter employees hang up on Musk

Tensions between Twitter's long-standing staff and Elon Musk have come to a head in the past 24 hours after the later sent an email demanding that staff work harder for longer hours, with no additional recompense. Understandably, that did not go down well. 

Reports suggest that numerous Twitter staffers exited a group video call just as the new boss was due to speak. Others have reported that team members have began leaving the company's internal messaging service with a 'salute' emoji as a goodbye, signifying an act of defiance against the new regime. 

Good news from Twitter HQ

Despite having lost a reported 90% of Twitter staff during his brief time in charge, Elon Musk appears outwardly confident that the social media platform will go from strength to strength. The phrases #RIPTwitter and #Twitter2 have been trending online in recent hours after it emerged that the company had closed the doors of its offices to staff for the nect few days. 

Quite what Musk has in mind to get out of this position is still unclear, but the uncertainty has managed to bring users to the site to find out what's going on. And perhaps for a last hurrah. 

How long can Twitter last for?

The scale of the threat to Twitter could hardly be more apparent after a tumultuous few weeks, but Alejandra Caraballo, clinical instructor at Harvard Law Cyberlaw Clinic, has broken things down.

Huge numbers of employees have left or been made redundant at a time when Elon Musk is pushing through a series of major changes to the platform. The World Cup will bring about a major boom in activity and the site looks vulnerable to outages. She claims that the site may go down before next week. 

How many Twitter staff members have left the site?

New Twitter owner Elon Musk issued a stark ultimatum to staff on Wednesday when he demanded they agree to a tough new working schedule or be shown the door. Musk gave staff just 24 hours to respond to the demands and it appears that a huge number of crucial staff members have decided they cannot continue to work at the site. 

What does this mean? Well Twitter is in the midst of a major revolution with Musk desperate to squeeze out maximum profitability from the site. However the changes he has in mind, such as paid-for verification, require a dedicated team of engineers to realise those plans. 

#RIPTwitter trends on social media

Twitter shutdown dominates online trends

The most talked about subject on Twitter at the moment? The downfall of Twitter! 

Overnight all the talk online has been about the future of the social media platform as staff shortages threaten to dring down the site. 

Any publicity is good publicity for Musk

Elon Musk's brief ownership of Twitter has certainly been eventful and his chaotic approach to business management has thrust the platform into the news cycle on a near-continuous basis. However, while Musk celebrates the high usage on the site, the consequence of such upheaval could cause major damage for the platform in the long term and make Musk's goal of increasing the site's profitability much more difficult. 

Grim outlook for Twitter after staff exits

The scale of Elon Musk's mismanagement of Twitter has taken people by storm and the site looks set to have to operate with a skeleton staff during a time of complete upheaval. Musk's highly public purchase of the company just weeks ago was followed by a raft of sackings, forced redundancies and, most recently, an ultimatum from the new owner demanding staff work longer, harder hours. 

Let that sink in...

Is Twitter going down?

While the scale of the issues facing Twitter are still unknown, tech reporter Gergely Orosz has warned that the site will face outages in the coming weeks as a result of the massive staff cuts imposed by Elon Musk. Orosz claims that around 90% of Twitter engineering staff has left in less than a month under Musk, raising concern for the future viability of the platform. 

What is Mastodon? Decentralised social media site offers a choice of servers

US NEWS

What is Mastodon? Decentralised social media site offers a choice of servers

The chaos of Elon Musk's first weeks in charge of Twitter has created a surge in interest for a small decentralised social network called Mastodon. First unveiled in 2016, Mastodon has grown in recent weeks and is stoically committed to remaining free to use and free of ads.

Visually, Mastodon mimics the appearance of Twitter with a timeline comprised of brief updates presented in chronological order. However unlike Twitter, there is no central platform bringing together all the content for a single view, as is the case on most major social media sites. 

We take a look at how Mastodon works...

Twitter staff leave in droves after Musk's demands

The social media platform is facing a severe slowdown in service as a result of a strongly-worded letter from new owner Elon Musk to staff. The world's richest man had demanded that staff submit to "long hours at high intensity", or be shown the door. 

Perhaps understandably, that ultimatum has not gone down well and he faces an enormous staff shortage. 

Can the US government review Elon Musk’s Twitter deal?

US NEWS

Can the US government review Elon Musk’s Twitter deal?

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter has not been short of drama and the stakes have hit a new height in recent hours. Soon after taking over Musk  stamped his authority on the platform by removing previous executives and dissolving the board of directors.

But there could yet be another twist in the story as Democrat lawmakers have called for a investigation into the purchase. Senator Chris Murphy has called upon the federal government to look into Musk’s links to foreign governments, particularly Saudi Arabia.

What did Elon Musk write in the email to staff?

Talk of Twitter's imminent demise was sparked by news that Elon Musk was demanding that all staff commit to "long hours at high intensity" or face being shown the door. 

In the controversial email, which has been seen as the last straw by many members of staff, Musk wrote:

"Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.

Twitter will also be much more engineering-driven. Design and product management will still be very important and report to me, but those writing great code will constitute the majority of our team and have the greatest sway. At its heart, Twitter is a software and servers company, so I think this makes sense.

If you are sure that you want to be part of the new Twitter, please click yes on the link below:

[Google form link] 

Anyone who has not done so by 5pm ET tomorrow (Thursday) will receive three months of severance.

Whatever decision you make, thank you for your efforts to make Twitter successful."

Elon Musk jokes about the death of Twitter

Never one to shy away from a meme at a time of crisis, Musk shared this picture after reports of major issues on the platform surfaced yesterday evening. Twitter has reportedly closed its offices to staff and #RIPTwitter is trending online. 

Elon Musk’s Twitter: Will there be layoffs? How many people could be fired?

LATEST NEWS

Elon Musk’s Twitter: Will there be layoffs? How many people could be fired?

Soon after taking over the company, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk began the first of major cuts to the company’s work force after closing the $44 billion deal. First to go were a handful of top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde.

With a raft of further redundancies now expected, we take a look at where it all began...

Breaking News: Twitter faces shutdown

Good morning and welcome to AS USA, where we'll be bringing you all the latest as rumours swirl about the future of Twitter.

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