Billionaire Elon Musk, who recently acquired Twitter in a $44 billion deal, plans to let go 25 percent of the social media company’s workforce in what could be just the first round of layoffs, people familiar with the matter said, according to The Washington Post.
Four people familiar with Twitter’s internal discussions on the layoffs said Alex Spiro, a long-time representative for Musk, is leading the conversations. The Post reported that Spiro is also managing multiple teams within Twitter, including legal, government relations, policy and marketing.
On Friday, Musk tweeted that Twitter’s “content moderation policies” have not been changed and that a council will be formed to address this controversial issue.
“Twitter will be forming a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints,” Musk tweeted. “No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.”
That same day, Musk tweeted, “Comedy is now legal on Twitter.” That tweet earned a staggering 2.3 million likes.
In one of his first moves as Twitter’s new owner, Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal and chief financial officer Ned Segal. He also fired Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, and Sean Edgett, Twitter’s general counsel.
Hours before his official takeover of the social media giant, Musk tweeted a letter directed at “Twitter Advertisers” which states that he bought Twitter because he believes it’s “important to the future of civilization.”
“The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner, without resorting to violence,” Musk wrote. “There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide our society.”
“In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fueled and catered to those polarized extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost,” he continued.
“That is why I bought Twitter. I didn’t do it because it would be easy. I didn’t do it to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love,” he added. “And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real possibility.”