Staff requested Musk robust questions. He nonetheless doesn’t have all of the solutions.
Elon Musk, the brand new would-be proprietor of Twitter, talked to the corporate’s workers for the primary time right this moment in a Q&A session. The assembly was meant to be a chance for him to assuage worker considerations after the Tesla CEO publicly criticized the corporate, its management, and the variety of spambots on the platform in latest weeks. However Musk’s responses on some key matters like layoffs, content material moderation, and distant work had been obscure. They doubtless did little to fulfill workers frightened about Elon’s management, in accordance with a number of staffers who talked to Recode after the assembly and inner Slack conversations considered by Recode.
“I like Twitter,” Musk stated initially of the assembly, in accordance with a recording of the assembly obtained by Recode. Musk, who dialed in round 10 minutes late to the videoconference, apparently from his cellphone, added, “Some folks use their hair to precise themselves, I take advantage of Twitter. I discover it’s the perfect discussion board for speaking with lots of people concurrently, and getting that message on to folks.”
Within the assembly, Musk appeared to again away from a extra absolutist stance towards “freedom of speech” on the platform. He stated that whereas folks ought to have a proper to freedom of speech, they don’t essentially have “freedom of attain,” that means that Twitter doesn’t need to amplify concepts like Holocaust denial on the platform. Whereas his reply on this matter was extra nuanced than a few of his earlier statements, it nonetheless appears unlikely to completely reply worker questions on how precisely Musk will change the corporate’s method to moderating hateful and violent speech.
“There’s freedom of speech or freedom of attain,” Musk stated. “And freedom of speech is one factor, as a result of, like, anybody might simply go into the center of Occasions Sq. proper now and say something they need, they may simply stroll into the center of Occasions Sq. and deny the Holocaust, okay? You possibly can’t cease them, they may simply try this. However that doesn’t imply it’s a must to — that it must be promoted to tens of millions of individuals.”
Within the 45-minute assembly, Musk didn’t go into an excessive amount of element about his tactical plans as Twitter’s proprietor, giving non-committal solutions about whether or not he has plans to put off employees or power workers who’re working remotely again within the workplace.
Twitter CMO Leslie Berland requested Musk chosen questions that workers had submitted within the days forward of the assembly, lots of which had been essential or pressed for extra particulars about his plans to run the corporate. When requested about how he’s serious about layoffs at Twitter, Musk replied vaguely.
“The corporate does must get wholesome. Proper now, the prices exceed the income. In order that’s not a fantastic state of affairs to be in,” Musk stated. “And so there must be some rationalization of the headcount and bills to have income be better than the price. In any other case, Twitter is solely not viable.”
“Anybody who is clearly, like, a big contributor, ought to don’t have anything to fret about,” Musk clarified. He equally stated that if an worker is “distinctive” then distant work is okay, however that the “bias may be very a lot towards in-person work.”
Since first placing in his $44 billion bid to purchase Twitter in April, Musk has created a flurry of uncertainty in regards to the deal, at one level tweeting that it was “on maintain” resulting from his considerations in regards to the prevalence of spambots on the platform. The transfer raised questions on whether or not Musk was making an attempt to renegotiate the deal at a lower cost or making an attempt to again out altogether.
Whereas some workers are excited for Musk’s arrival and hope he might help the corporate develop its dimension and profitability, the volatility across the deal and Musk’s unclear idea of freedom of speech have left many Twitter workers frightened about how he plans to deal with the platform as soon as he’s in cost.
“He’s demonstrating a harmful lack of awareness about technical, coverage, and operational issues,” stated one Twitter worker after the assembly, who has been granted anonymity over concern of retaliation. “The issue is that that lack might adversely have an effect on the entire world. This isn’t nearly workers. Staff care in regards to the influence of their product on the planet.”
Musk, nevertheless, appeared assured in his means to run Twitter. When requested what he has an understanding of and what he must be taught in regards to the firm, Musk stated he will get Twitter as a result of he’s a brilliant person (Musk is without doubt one of the platform’s most-followed accounts with 98.three million followers).
“I actually am going to have a robust understanding of the product as a result of I take advantage of Twitter daily, virtually,” stated Musk. “What I’ve much less understanding of is, you already know, like, this type of bot spam or multi-user account — principally, something that impacts the monetizable each day person numbers might be my largest concern.”
Musk agreed to return to a different Q&A with Twitter workers if there have been extra questions.