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Elon Musk Begins Laying Off Twitter Staff Friday, Days After His $44 Billion Acquisition

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Twitter will lay off staff on Friday, the social media giant said in an email obtained by NBC News.

In the email, sent Thursday evening, Twitter said staff would notify staff of their employment by email starting Friday morning.

“We recognize that this will affect a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but unfortunately this action is necessary to ensure the company’s future success,” the email read.

The cuts come after numerous reports that Musk was planning to cut the payroll of 7,500 people after closing his $44 billion acquisition late last week. He immediately fired CEO Parag Agrawal, as well as Twitter’s CFO and the head of legal, public policy and trust and security in the company’s acquisition.

A Twitter employee said Thursday’s email was the first communications employee received from Twitter since the October 27 acquisition.

“It’s total chaos, the house is melting and everyone is looking at this email,” the employee told NBC News.

According to Twitter’s email, employees will be notified via their company email – if they still have a job – or their personal email if their “employment is affected.”

The company said the staff reduction is being done in “an effort to put Twitter on a healthy path”.

Concerns about layoffs began to crop up before the takeover transaction was completed, but Twitter’s general counsel urged employees not to dwell too long on rumors before Musk took ownership of the company.

Some Twitter employees have expressed a desire to be fired and receive severance pay, and some are concerned that disagreeing with Musk could mean losing both their jobs and the exit package.

“At the end of this nightmare, I’d better get a cash prize,” a Twitter employee told NBC News.

Meanwhile, Musk has tried to reassure advertisers by saying in a message that the platform would not be a “free-for-all hellscape.” He also told the European Union that he plans to comply with the region’s Digital Services Act, which imposes sanctions on companies if they fail to control illegal content. Reuters reported Monday.

Musk has also promised to relax the rules about what kind of speech is allowed on the platform, raising concerns that the changes could drive users and advertisers away. General Motors announced that it would temporarily stop its advertising on the platform.

He has also said he plans to form a content moderation board that would encompass “very divergent points of view”, although no changes have been made so far.

Reports suggested that hate speech emerged in the early days of Musk’s ownership of the site. Musk himself posted on Sunday a link to a baseless, anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory regarding the attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Musk later deleted the tweet.

That was one of nearly two dozen tweets Musk posted to the site over the weekend, though few offered additional clarity on what the site will look like under his leadership.

Jason Abbruzzese contributed.

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