Twitter Auctioning Furniture, Sacking More Staff as Part of New Cost-Cutting Measures
Elon Musk's Twitter takeover has so far been marked by chaos and confusion, and that's not likely to change anytime soon.
According to a report by The New York Times (via Fox Business), the social media giant's San Francisco headquarters and global offices are several weeks behind on rent as Musk and his team reportedly renegotiates the terms of the lease agreement as part of new cost-cutting measures. The company, however, has already received a complaint from Shorenstein, the real estate developer that owns the San Francisco space.
Twitter also refused to pay a US$197,725 bill for private charter flights made the week of Musk’s takeover, as detailed in a lawsuit filed in New Hampshire District Court.
The report adds that Twitter is planning to auction dozens of furniture, appliances, and memorabilia from its headquarters. These include a large Twitter bird statue, a giant "@" sculpture and other more common items like chairs and espresso machines. The auction is being organised by Heritage Global Partners, and is scheduled to be conducted online starting 17 January 2023 and closing the next day.
Earlier this week, Twitter dissolved its Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group that helped craft the platform's content moderation policies on issues like hate speech, child exploitation, suicide and self-harm among others. In an email, the company said it was “reevaluating how best to bring external insights" into its product, and it felt the council of independent experts and organisations is "not the best structure to do this".
A former Twitter employee told CNA that, between the Singapore, Dublin and San Francisco offices, only 10 staffers are left tackling child sexual exploitation issues on the platform from 20 to 30 previously. They used to also be backed up by larger contract outfits that serve as the first line of defence in content moderation, but these contractors are similarly facing job cuts.
Instead, Twitter is now leaning towards automation to moderate harmful content posted on the platform – a move that could supposedly jeopardise the online safety of children. "I don't think it's safe anymore for children online," the former employee who chose to remain anonymous told CNA. "You cannot do content moderation just shooting from the hip. It is done through evidence-based work."
The New York Times also reported that Twitter's legal department has been a revolving door of talent, with Musk seemingly terminating everyone he's put on board. Now left without any other option after the rounds of layoffs and departures, the tech executive is now seeking lawyers from his other companies like SpaceX to handle legal duties for Twitter. More than half a dozen SpaceX lawyers have been given access to Twitter’s internal systems, the report claims.
Musk did not respond to The New York Times' request for comment. Twitter, meanwhile, no longer has a communications department.
Twitter's San Francisco headquarters and global offices are several weeks behind on rent as Elon Musk and his team reportedly renegotiate the lease agreement terms as part of new cost-cutting measures.
Earlier this week, Twitter dissolved its Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group that helped craft the platform's content moderation policies.
Instead, Twitter is now leaning towards automation to moderate harmful content posted on the platform – a move that could supposedly jeopardise the online safety of children.
Twitter's legal department has also been a revolving door of talent, with Musk seemingly terminating everyone he's put on board.