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Public record: Musk fires Twitter employees for criticizing him online


Elon Musk, the new chief troll of Twitter, has already let go of half of its workforce. Apparently, this is not enough – the billionaire is now firing engineers who publicly point out that his understanding of how things work might be wrong.

Even though Musk has called himself a “free speech absolutist,” it turns out he is more than ready to change Twitter’s corporate culture – a free and safe space for discussions until now.

The new Chief Executive Officer of the company is now firing Twitter engineers who publicly, on the same social media platform, criticize his understanding of a technical part of Twitter’s app.

It began on Sunday when Musk decided to express regret over Twitter supposedly being very slow “in many countries.” He mentioned allegedly low-quality remote procedure calls and was immediately ridiculed by app engineering professionals.

The engineer Eric Frohnhoefer was still an employee at Twitter, working on the app for the Android mobile operating system when he reposted the very same Musk’s tweet and commented that the owner of Twitter was simply “wrong.”

As Musk asked Frohnhoefer to elaborate, he did in a series of mostly technical tweets. But when somebody asked the engineer why he didn’t inform his boss privately, Frohnhoefer shot back, saying that the boss could have used internal communication channels, too.

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Eric Frohnhoefer's tweets to Elon Musk

Musk then waited until Monday morning to publicly post a tweet that said Frohnhoefer was fired. Approximately five hours later his access to the company-issued laptop was disabled, even though Musk’s tweet was deleted.

The engineer said later that day he had received no formal communications from Twitter about his sudden dismissal and called the company “a bunch of cowards.”

Another engineer, Ben Leib, was also fired. He quoted the same post from Musk, writing, “As the former tech lead for timelines infrastructure at Twitter, I can confidently say this man has no idea wtf he’s talking about.”

Twitter has been thrown into chaos since Musk took over the company in late October. He fired half of its 7,000 thousand employees, including most senior managers, while letting go of veteran engineers has led to concerns Twitter is now vulnerable to product breakdowns or technical outages.

The company was also forced to pause the new Blue paid verification service that was exploited by a bunch of pranksters and extremists who flooded the platform with misinformation and hurt several brands financially.

Besides, in late November, a class action lawsuit was already filed in San Francisco federal court against Twitter by its employees. They argue that the company is violating federal and California law as it is not providing the required 60-day advance notice.

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act restricts large US companies from initiating mass layoffs without at least 60 days of advance notice.


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