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Elon Musk Just Fired Key Twitter Teams Like Human Rights, Accessibility, AI Ethics & Governance • londonbusinessblog.com

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Elon Musk is wasting no time making extremely deep cuts on Twitter, which has left many teams doing essential work at the company crippled in the process. News of layoffs spread across the platform on Friday, showing that the billionaire owner of Twitter is broadly painting when it comes to dividing the team in half.

The same day Musk complained about alleged activists impacting Twitter’s ad revenue, he outlawed a number of sections outright — actions that are sure to make advertisers all the more timid about Musk’s ability to control a ship with a skeleton crew. to control. Given that he’s only owned the company for one week, it’s impossible to imagine that such sweeping layoffs won’t lead to malfunctioning at Twitter, from the content moderation policy that will surely prove crucial for Tuesday’s US midterm elections to product teams that will destroy the platform. keep it going.

Former Twitter employees affected by the layoffs describe a chaotic situation with little official communication other than receiving a letter of resignation abruptly or suddenly revoking their access to internal tools such as Slack or databases. In the information vacuum created by Musk’s disorganized and sudden approach to the layoffs, some workers aren’t sure whether their colleagues are still employed or whether their teams even exist at all.

The cuts appear to be as broad as they are deep, affecting everything from Twitter’s trust and security teams that handle content moderation to the marketing department. Here are some of the teams that were either eliminated outright or hit hard by the layoffs, and what the new incarnation of Twitter will lose in the process.

human rights

Former Twitter human rights lawyer Shannon Raj Singh shared the news that the company’s human rights team was eliminated on Friday. The team worked to protect users who face human rights violations worldwide, including activists, journalists and people affected by conflicts such as the war in Ukraine.

Accessibility experience

Twitter’s now former head of accessibility confirmed that the company has scrapped its accessibility experience team, improving the product for people with disabilities. The team seems to have had a lot in the works before it disbanded.

communication

It’s not yet clear which parts of Twitter’s communications team have been completely cut, but the cuts are so deep that many prominent communications staff at the company, including many contacts londonbusinessblog.com has spoken with over the years, were affected. Musk expressed his distaste for internal communications immediately after taking over the company and gave Twitter employees little information about the changes, so it’s no surprise that the internal communications team is also affected, including the head of internal communications.

Ethics, transparency and accountability for machine learning

Musk has disbanded a team known internally as META, which has been widely respected for its exploratory work on ethical AI and algorithmic transparency. Rumman Chowdhury, the director of the team, was eliminatedtogether with the engineers of the team and other members.

Curation

Some layoffs make sense, given the things Musk apparently has little regard for (human rights and accessibility, alarming!), but Twitter’s new owner also apparently cut back on teams that seemed poised to help him get more value out of the company. . The curator team curated the Moments tab, programmed the trending topics section, provided context on those topics, and also handled live events — many of the things Twitter does best. The team also worked to fight misinformation on the platform — a serious and consistent concern that has made Musk worse in less than seven days on the job.

Public Policy

Politics reports that half of the company’s public policy team was fired, including Michele Austin, the former director of public policy and elections in Canada and the US, who was actively involved in the US midterm elections. Those cuts also reportedly include Twitter team members working to verify the accounts of political figures.

This story develops…


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