Elon Musk cuts Twitter contractors after massive employee layoffs

Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

After laying off half of its staff earlier this month, Twitter began to eliminate its vast ranks of contract staff on Saturday, sources confirmed to Axios.

why is it important: Like many companies, Twitter’s staff is made up of a mix of full-time employees as well as contract workers who work for a third party.

Details: Twitter has removed an unknown number of contractors in various areas, including content moderation, sources have confirmed to Axios.

  • The status of many contractors has been in limbo since Twitter halved its staff earlier this month, with some not even knowing who to report to as their counterparts within the company were laid off.
  • Now some are worried about their final paychecks since their teams no longer have full-time employees on Twitter to sign their scorecards, sources told Axios.
  • The contractor cuts were noted earlier Saturday by Casey Newton of Platformer.

Between the lines: In at least some cases, if not all, the workers received no direct communication from Twitter that their work was done.

  • Instead, they found out when they saw their access to Twitter’s computer systems had been cut off.
  • It looks like the scene where full-time employees found out they had lost their jobs, not because of a promised Friday email, but on Thursday night as they lost access to emails. e-mails and other computer systems of the company.
  • Twitter has since reached out to rehire some full-time employees after realizing their skills were critical to existing projects, including new features that were a priority for the company.
  • Some contractors, meanwhile, are worried about getting paid in the past two weeks as a number of contractors found themselves on shifts without full-time employees on Twitter, leaving no one to sign their cards. tally, sources told Axios.

The big picture: Twitter has been in a state of turmoil since Elon Musk took over, with products and features being launched and then retired.

  • This includes a new version of its Twitter Blue subscription service that allows subscribers to have the same blue tick given to verified accounts of politicians, journalists, government agencies and celebrities.
  • Twitter put that on hold earlier this week after a flood of impersonators used the subscription service to impersonate various brands and high-profile athletes and politicians.

What they say : Melissa Ingle, a San Francisco-based content moderation firm specializing in political disinformation, was among those cut.

  • Ingle, who has two master’s degrees and teaches data science skills, said she was surprised by the move and worried about supporting her family as the holidays approach.
  • “I’m the person you want in your business,” she told Axios. “That’s no way to treat people.”
  • Twitter cut all of its communications staff and there was no immediate response to an email sent to the company’s press account.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional details on contractor concerns.

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