Leaked internal communications by Twitter employees about the awakened employees reveal despair and anger over Elon Musk’s month-long efforts to acquire Twitter.
Musk announced that he would buy the company for $44 billion on Monday. The deal concludes a month-long saga that began when Musk first tweeted opinion polls and his thoughts on the decline of free speech on Twitter.
Leaked messages on business communications platform Slack reveal that some Twitter employees have held out against the new owner.
A site reliability engineer who identifies as a non-binary and intersex person wrote: “It’s physically embarrassing watching Elon talk about freedom of speech.”
“We all go through the five stages of grief in cycles and everyone’s nerves are confused,” wrote a senior software engineer who called Musk a “hole,” and tried to comfort his colleagues. “We are all spinning our wheels, coming up with worst-case scenarios (Trump back! No more moderation!). The truth is that [Musk] He hasn’t spoken about what he plans to do in any detail outside of broad sweeping statements that can easily be seen as a hyperbolic show sport.”
A senior video engineer announced to employees that he would be resigning, “Not the place to say it, but I won’t work for this company after the acquisition.”
After squabbling among several employees angry at the news, some warned that their connections could be searched on Slack. The employees then transferred their conversations to their personal devices using the Signal encrypted chat app.
Twitter’s leadership appears to be predicting internal backlash and potential sabotage when it shut down the ability of its employees to make changes to the platform until Friday.
In the lead-up to Monday’s deal, Twitter employees have been breathing for weeks on Slack about Musk and advocate for the platform’s implementation of moderation.
One director of reliability engineering said Musk’s views on free speech were a “cover for ‘I don’t want to be responsible for saying or exaggerating harmful things’.”
Another engineer wrote that “self-reported censorship sometimes is just awful for people who are around and then find it.”[ing] out.” A senior content strategist replied, “And that just doesn’t happen often enough.”
This chief content analyst, who worked as a left-wing political activist outside of Twitter, led many of the conversations that were highly critical of Musk.
“Sometimes I think it can’t be as bad as I imagine. Then I see something like that and I’m all ‘No, it’s going to be worse,'” I wrote in response to Musk’s tweet last week.
But not all employees kept their opinions in internal business conversations. Some of the strongest comments against Musk have been posted publicly on employees’ Twitter accounts.
Addison Hoenstein, Software Engineer, tweeted: “You asked me why buying El*nM*sk 9.2% of Tw*tter and getting a seat on the board is bad and I explain why that wasn’t his ultimate goal and things will definitely get worse and potentially dangerous for Democracy and Global Affairs”.
Jay Holler, an engineering director, tweeted multiple times earlier in the month when it was announced that Musk could take a leadership role. “The problem with elonmusk is that he has consistently exhibited a pattern of harmful behavior that disproportionately affects marginalized people, so maybe we’re not giving him any more power than he actually stole?” Holler later tweeted, “I’m tough now.”
Conor CampbellD., a non-binary front-end engineer, responded directly to Musk on Tuesday defending Twitter’s censorship of the Washington Post for its reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop shortly before the 2020 presidential election.
Twitter had a policy on documents that had been hacked. We applied this policy on an equal footing,” Campbell claimed. The contents of the laptop were not hacked, as both the Washington Post and The Times acknowledged. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said it was a “fatal mistake” at a congressional hearing last year.
Laura GomezTwitter, which used to lead the localization of Twitter sites, tweeted: “AM*sk owned Twitter is one of the biggest threats to the 2022 and 2024 elections. We are excited if this happens.”
Separately on Slack, several Twitter employees have repeatedly belittled this journalist for posting screenshots of their colleagues’ publicly available tweets. They discussed ways in which they believed his tweets could be a violation of Twitter’s policies.
“How is that [Ngo] Check hole? A software engineer asked for a senior staff member. Several staffers used expletives to refer to this journalist before admitting that the tweets did not violate their rules. They suggested to each other to remove references to Twitter employment in their Twitter bios.
Although many of Slack’s internal comments were personally critical of Musk and his views, a few employees weren’t angry and some were dismissed.
“I don’t know much about him, I don’t really care. I just wish it was freedom of expression [the] Top priority. I don’t care who drives it. “Especially for minorities like me, I had absolutely no rights in my home country,” said a woman in the design department.
Another software engineer wrote, “I think our policies are clearly biased (everyone has a bias) and I would personally like to see more balance. IDK if Musk is the right person to do this but the idea of someone being less biased towards the things we are actually biased toward is something love it “.