August 8, 2022
Twitter fires executives, halts hiring as Musk takeover approaches

Twitter confirmed on Thursday that two senior executives are heading to the exit and that it has halted most hiring, as Elon Musk moves to become the new owner of the global messaging platform.

A Twitter spokesperson told AFP that general manager Kayvan, who leads research, design and engineering at Twitter, is leaving with Bruce Falk, head of Baccour products.

Baccour, however, said he was fired from the San Francisco-based tech company.

“The truth is that’s when I didn’t imagine leaving Twitter, and it wasn’t my decision,” Baccour, who is on paternity leave, said in a tweet.

Twitter chief Parag Agarwal said after “telling me that he wants to take the team in a different direction,” he told me to leave.

Twitter also confirmed that, effective this week, it is stopping all hiring except for business-critical roles.

Musk last month announced a $44 billion (about Rs 3,40,100 crore) deal to buy Twitter, but it still needs the support of shareholders and regulators.

The acquisition is expected to close later in 2022, with Musk — who runs the space exploration effort SpaceX and electric automaker Tesla — stepping down as his boss, at least for a while.

Musk is on record to say he will lift a Twitter ban on Donald Trump, arguing that kicking the former US president off the stage “isolated a large part of the country.”

Musk’s support for Trump’s return has raised fears among activists that Musk will “open a flood of hate.”

Trump has publicly said he would not return to Twitter if allowed, instead sticking with his own social network, Truth Social, which has failed to gain traction.

Trump was removed from Twitter and other online platforms after supporters, alleging election fraud by his tweets and speeches, attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, naming Joe Biden as the winner of presidential election two. The attack was carried out in a deadly bid to prevent it from being certified as months ago.

Musk argued that a permanent ban on Twitter should be rare, and reserved for accounts that are spam, scams or run by software “bots”.

Activist groups have called on Twitter advertisers to boycott the service if it opens the door to derogatory and misinformative posts with Musk.

The fate of Twitter’s top lawyer, who is considered the platform’s moral champion, is in doubt as Musk tweeted outrage over the content moderation he had performed.

Lawyer, Vijaya Gadde has led efforts to fight post-bullying and bullying that can cause real-world damage such as the US Capitol riot.

She was involved in the decision to ban Trump and others, including removing political ads from the app.

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