Twitter’s External Content Managers Face Layoffs After Musk Takeover
The new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, continues to search for groups that fight fake news on social media as the outgoing moderators learned over the weekend that they were out of a job.
Twitter and other major social media companies rely heavily on contractors to monitor hate speech and enforce rules against harmful content.
But many of those content viewers are now out the door, first when Twitter fired most of its full-time employees via email on Nov. 4 and now as it cuts dozens of contract jobs.
Melissa Ingle, who has worked at Twitter as a contractor for more than a year, was one of the contractors who said they were terminated on Saturday. He said he is worried that harassment on Twitter will increase as the number of employees leaving will increase.
“I love the platform and I really enjoy working in the company and trying to make it better. And I’m afraid of what will go into the holes,” said Sonto.
Ingle, a data scientist, said he worked on the data and monitoring arm of Twitter’s public integrity team. His work involved writing algorithms to detect political misinformation on the platform in countries such as the US, Brazil, Japan, Argentina, and elsewhere.
Ingle said he was “sure I’m done” when he couldn’t access his work email on Saturday. The notification from the contract company he was employed by came two hours later.
“I’ll be putting my resumes out there and talking to people,” she said, “I have two kids. And I’m worried about being able to give them a good Christmas, you know, and normal things like that. . . I think it’s really heartless to do this at this time.”
Content moderation expert Sarah Roberts, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles who worked as a staff researcher at Twitter earlier this year, said she believes at least 3,000 contract workers were laid off Saturday night.
Twitter did not say how many contract workers it cut. The company has not responded to media requests for information since Musk took over.
At Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters and other offices, contract workers wore blue badges while full-time workers wore blue badges. The contractors did a lot of work to help keep Twitter running, including engineering and marketing, Roberts said. But it was a number of contract presidents who were “essential” to the platform, Roberts said.
Cutting them would have a “significant impact on the field experience,” he said.
Musk promised to loosen speech restrictions when he took over Twitter. But in the early days after Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,55,870 crore) in late October and fired the board of directors and top management, the billionaire Tesla CEO sought to reassure the struggling groups. human rights and advertisers that the platform can. continue to end hate and hate-fueled violence.
That message was echoed by Twitter’s former head of content moderation, Yoel Roth, who tweeted that the November 4 layoffs affected only “15 percent of our Trust & Safety organization (compared to nearly 50 percent reductions across the company ), and before us. -supervisory staff who receive less impact.”
Roth left the company, joining an exodus of senior leaders tasked with protecting privacy, cybersecurity and regulatory compliance.