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Twitter locks platform to block ‘rogue’ employee sabotage after Musk buyout: Report

Elon Musk. (Jerome Adamstein/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
April 26, 2022

Twitter is reportedly blocking employees from making unauthorized changes to the platform due to concerns of disgruntled workers “going rogue” and attempting to sabotage it amid Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the social media giant.

According to Bloomberg, people familiar with the situation said Twitter won’t process any more product updates unless they’re critical to the business, and all changes must be approved by a vice president.

Twitter has implemented similar process update restrictions before, most notably during significant events like the Super Bowl, in an effort to ensure continuity and prevent mistakes.

Reactions to Musk’s acquisition of Twitter were “absolutely insane” among employees of the social media company, with one staffer even saying that the news made him want to “throw up,” The New York Times’ Talmon Joseph Smith reported.

“Its ‘absolutely insane’ @ Twitter right now in the virtual valves of private slack rooms & employee group texts, according to an internal source. Their take/breakdown just now: ‘I feel like im going to throw up..I rly don’t wanna work for a company that is owned by Elon Musk,” Smith tweeted.

“2/ The source at Twitter continued ‘I don’t rly know what I’m supposed to do…oh my god, my phone’s been blowing up…We have a meeting about it at 5pm…the CEO is going to address everyone about it” (it=elon),” he wrote in a separate tweet. “’I hate him, why does he even want this?’ they asked…”

Smith’s source reportedly called Musk a “petulant little boy” who bought Twitter “to troll.”

“The employee continued re Elon: 3/ ‘I feel like he’s this petulant little boy and that he’s doing this to troll…he doesn’t know anything about our policies and what we do…his statement about our algo was fucking insane…’Were just gonna let everyone run amok?…nobody knows,’” Smith tweeted.

On Tuesday, Musk took aim at those panicking over the prospect of Twitter becoming a true free speech platform, tweeting, “The extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech says it all.”

MSNBC host Ari Melber had a similar devastated reaction to Musk’s purchase, arguing that the owner of Twitter could seriously impact elections by manipulating the platform.

“If you own all of Twitter or Facebook or what-have-you, you don’t have to explain yourself. You don’t even have to be transparent. You could secretly ban one party’s candidate or all of its candidates. All of its nominees,” Melber said in a now viral video that has over 6 million views. “Or you could just turn down the reach of their stuff and turn up the reach of something else, and the rest of us might not even find out about it until after the election.”

In the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, Twitter blocked a New York Post story on a laptop belonging to Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

A poll later conducted by the Media Research Center found that 16 percent of Biden voters said they would not have voted for Biden if they had known about the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. Biden won the popular vote by 4.5 percent.

In January 2021, the platform also banned then-President Donald Trump, a Republican. Twitter has since also banned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, another sitting GOP lawmaker.