Twitter news: Elon Musk fired Twitter staff ‘for criticising him’ over internal platform Slack

Reports suggest as many as 20 people have been fired for questioning Elon Musk's approach on internal messaging channels.

Twitter staff have been reportedy fired after criticising new owner Elon Musk on internal employee message boards. Now, Mr Musk has asked Twitter’s employees to decide by Thursday evening if they want to remain a part of the business.

As many as 20 staff were told their behaviour violated company policy so their employment was being terminated immediately. According to US reports, several staff criticised or questioned Mr Musk’s recent tweets about the Twitter app’s “slow” performance on Slack, a messaging platform used officially by staff inside Twitter. ABC News reported two former employees received their termination emails overnight.

Elon Musk’s influence at Twitter is starting to be felt within the product itself (Image: NationalWorld / Getty Images)

An email from Twitter HR said: “We regret to inform you that your employment is terminated effective immediately. Your recent behaviour has violated company policy.”

One of the employees, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I can only assume this was for not showing 100% loyalty on Slack. I have heard the same thing has happened to many others.”

A string of terminations 

Earlier this week, a Twitter engineer who publicly disagreed with the billionaire’s tweets was said to have been laid off, with Musk tweeting “he’s fired”.

He even appeared to mock those staff who were fired, tweeting in reply to a link to the story: “I would like to apologize for firing these geniuses. Their immense talent will no doubt be of great use elsewhere.”

Critics of the Tesla and SpaceX boss have suggested the removal of staff who disagree with his opinions contradicts Musk’s claim he strongly supports free speech and wants to allow more of it on Twitter.

The blue tick mishap

The company’s attempt to introduce a new version of its Twitter Blue subscription package – giving users a verified blue tick badge if they pay £6.99 a month – has also been mired in confusion after it was launched, only to be pulled barely a day later.

New grey “Official” badges to identify authentic, verified accounts have also been rolled out, taken down and then launched again in recent days, further adding to the confusion around the platform’s future. Musk said Twitter needs more subscriptions to boost revenue and told staff last week that the collapse of the company was not out of the question if changes were not made.

He emailed employees to say they “will need to be extremely hardcore” to build “a breakthrough Twitter 2.0″ and that long hours at high intensity will be needed for success. Mr Musk said Twitter is a software and servers company at heart and will become much more engineering-driven, with employees who write “great code” comprising the majority of the team.

Some safety experts have raised concerns that giving a verified account badge to any account willing to pay for it will help bad actors spread misinformation. The Twitter boss has now said the relaunch of the Blue subscription has been pushed back until the end of the month “to make sure that it is rock solid”.