(CNN) – Twitter on Friday laid off employees across the company, in a sharp round of cost-cutting that could upend the way one of the world’s most influential platforms operates, a week after it was acquired by Billionaire Elon Musk.
Several Twitter employees began posting on the platform Thursday night and Friday morning that they had already been banned from their company email accounts before receiving the termination notice. Some also shared blue hearts and emojis indicating they were out of the company.
On Friday morning, Twitter employees from the AI ethics, marketing and communications, research, public policy, wellness, and other teams tweeted that they were fired. Members of the organizing team, who help make trustworthy information visible on the platform, including election-related information, have also been laid off, according to staff posts.
“I just logged out of my remote work laptop and got kicked out of Slack,” a Twitter employee said on the platform. “It’s sad that it ended this way.”
Another employee said that she and other members of Twitter’s human rights team were fired. The staff member added that she was proud of the team’s work “to protect those at risk in global conflicts and crises, including in Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Ukraine, and to advocate for the needs of those particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses.” By virtue of their presence on social media as journalists and human rights defenders.”
A Twitter employee who was laid off told CNN Friday that some workers are relieved to be laid off. “For me, feeling safe was a punishment,” the employee said.
As Twitter employees posted about their layoffs, Musk appeared in a friendly interview at an investor conference on Friday and talked about making electric cars cheaper and his ambitions to go to Mars. During the interview, Musk said on Twitter, “I tried to walk out of the deal,” but later added, “I think there’s a huge amount of potential… and I think it could be one of the most valuable companies in the world.”
The interviewer said that Musk fired “half Twitter” and Musk agreed, though he did not comment on the note. He appeared to frame the layoffs as necessary for a company that, like other social media companies, was facing “revenue challenges” prior to the acquisition as advertisers reconsider spending amid recession fears.
Musk also said that “many major advertisers stopped spending on Twitter” in the days following the acquisition.
It’s not clear exactly how many Twitter employees have been or will be laid off. Twitter had about 7,500 workers before the Musk acquisition. In recent days, there have been reports that Twitter could cut 25% to 50% of its staff, as Musk reviews how the platform works and tries to improve the company’s bottom line after securing significant debt financing for the company. Fund the $44 billion acquisition.
The email sent Thursday night notified employees that they would receive a notification by 12:00 p.m. Miami time on Friday informing them of their employment status.
“If your job is not affected, you will receive a notification via your Twitter email,” read a copy of the email obtained by CNN. “If your job is affected, you will receive a notification of next steps via your personal email.”
The email adds that to “help ensure the safety” of Twitter employees and systems, the company’s offices will be temporarily closed and access to all credentials will be suspended. “
The email concluded by acknowledging that it would be a “very challenging experience” for the workforce.
Employees sue Twitter after layoffs announced
Several Twitter employees filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday night alleging that Twitter was in violation of federal law and the Workers Retraining Amendment and Notification (WARN) Act after laying off some employees.
WARN requires an employer with more than 100 workers to provide 60 days’ prior written notice before a mass layoff “affecting 50 or more employees in a single workplace.”
“Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, has made it clear that he believes compliance with federal labor laws is ‘frivolous,'” attorney Shannon Lees Riordan, who filed the suit, said in a statement to CNN. To prevent Twitter employees from inadvertently waiving their rights.”
For its part, the Employment Development Department (EDD) did not receive a warning from Twitter at any time this year, even as a large number of Twitter employees were laid off from the company, CNN confirmed Friday afternoon.
However, the company may file the notifications in the next few days and keep the laid-off employees on the payroll for several weeks to avoid a breach.
Musk started his tenure on Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal sacked and two other executives, according to two people familiar with the decision.
And in less than a week since Musk acquired the company, the C Suite It seems to have been almost completely emptied, through a combination of dismissals and resignations. Musk also dissolved Twitter’s old board of directors.
On Friday, several employees summed up their feelings with the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked, a pun on the past tense often used by Twitter employees.
Claire Duffy and Sean Nottingham contributed to this report.