As tumbleweeds blow through the empty halls and vacant office spaces of Twitter headquarters, somehow, somewhere, Elon Musk found even more people to fire.
The flailing social media company laid off half of its remaining public policy team this week, according to LinkedIn and Twitter posts from former department employee, Theodora Skeadas, as first reported by Tech Crunch. Last Friday, the platform also cut additional engineering staff responsible for site infrastructure, according to a report from The Information.
The public policy team is/was responsible for managing legal and civil interactions regarding topics like speech rights, privacy, and safety. The team field(ed) requests from governments and other organizations to moderate content and set rules, according to a report from Reuters.
Gizmodo reached out to both Skeadas and Twitter with questions about the layoffs, but did not immediately receive a response, and the total number of people fired is unclear. However, the public policy team’s leader, Sinéad McSweeney also left the company this week, multiple unnamed sources reportedly told Reuters.
Since Musk’s hostile and chaotic takeover of the social media platform, the billionaire has cut thousands of employees from the payroll. Then, he had to rehire some. And then, Musk endeavored to make working at Twitter so unpleasant (read: “hardcore”), that yet more quit.
When Musk’s corporate acquisition finally went through at the end of October, reports surfaced that the Tesla CEO planned to scrap three quarters of the site’s staff. Though he denied those rumors, they’ve now come to fruition. Between quasi-voluntary departures and forced exits, an estimated 75% of all of Twitter’s formerly ~7,000 employees no longer work at the company, according to Tech Crunch. Next up on the chopping block? Probably the bluebird itself.
The platform’s engineering, ethical AI, content moderation, and now public policy teams have all been hollowed out or outright dissolved. Last week, Twitter disbanded its Trust and Safety Council, which Skeadas was a leader of. Even George Hotz, the notorious hacker who offered his services to Twitter at low cost for 12-weeks, quit the site.
“The work still matters!,” Skeadas wrote in her extended LinkedIn post regarding the layoffs. “I wish good fortune and strength to those who remain at Twitter.” But based on how things are going so far: The few, the proud, the enduring Twitter staff are going to need more than luck and resolve. They’re going to need a Christmas miracle.