World Cup risks knocking out Twitter after staff exodus, industry expert warns | Science & Tech News

Twitter has temporarily closed its offices as more staff leave the troubled social media giant, sparking warnings about the site’s ability to stay online during the World Cup.

The company’s move to close its doors until Monday was apparently prompted by fears that departing employees could “sabotage” the company.

The latest turmoil comes after hundreds of workers reportedly walked out the ultimatum of the new owner Elon Musk to sign up for longer, more intensive work hours to build the new “extremely hardcore” Twitter.

A billionaire tycoon, who picked up the platform in a $44 billion takeover last monthhe said that those who do not apply will be fired.

Twitter’s boss sent an email to staff on Wednesday asking them to click yes on a form to confirm they will stay with the company under his new rules, and those who don’t by Thursday night will be given three months’ severance pay.

The number of staff who decided to leave seems to have surprised Musk and his team.

The entrepreneur later dropped his insistence that everyone work in the office, and his initial refusal to work remotely angered many employees.

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Musk’s email to staff

Musk also softened his earlier tone in another email to employees, writing that “all that is required for approval is for your manager to take responsibility for ensuring your excellent contribution.”

He added that workers are expected to have “personal meetings with colleagues at a reasonable pace, ideally once a week, but not less than once a month.”

Since taking over Twitter less than three weeks ago, Musk has cut half of the company’s full-time staff of 7,500 and also cut contractors responsible for content moderation and other key jobs.

Many took to Twitter to say goodbye to colleagues, while there are reports of hundreds of employees confirming they are leaving in private messaging channels.

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The Twitter logo and a photo of Elon Musk are shown through a magnifying glass in this illustration taken on Oct. 27, 2022.
Picture:
Since taking over Twitter less than three weeks ago, Musk has cut staff

Twitter teams ‘completely decimated’

As a result, there have been concerns that the platform may struggle to stay online as many of the people responsible for maintaining it leave the company, and that any problems could take longer to resolve without key engineers to troubleshoot.

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#RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter have become popular on the platform as users also consider leaving the site and some have started directing followers to their accounts on other platforms.

The Tesla and SpaceX chief continued to tweet throughout the ongoing turmoil, often mocking the concerns raised about the company by posting memes and making light of the situation.

“How do you make a small fortune on social media? Start big,” he joked.

He also claimed the controversy drove more traffic to the site, saying overnight the company “just hit another all-time high for Twitter usage.”

But industry expert Matt Navarra warned that the platform is under increased pressure as key engineers tasked with maintaining the site leave only as a major event – world cup – starts this weekend at Catarrh.

He said: “There are reports of teams critical to a number of Twitter infrastructure systems now being completely empty – those teams have been completely decimated.

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“And so if something goes wrong or breaks or there’s a sudden spike in activity, then Twitter’s ability to fix it or fix it is greatly reduced because of the lack of skilled engineers that the teams have now.”

A number of Twitter users have started directing their followers to their accounts on other platforms with uncertainty about the site’s ability to stay online.

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Mr Navarra believes any immediate blackout is unlikely.

He said: “There is a code freeze in place and Twitter is currently on autopilot with its IT systems, a strategic move by Elon Musk to protect the stability of the platform while he figures out his next move.

“But with the World Cup coming up, it will be a real test of Twitter’s resilience and ability to maintain the platform during the work period.

“So if there’s going to be a time when he’s going to be offline, I think the biggest risk right now is going to be during some of the key moments of the World Cup.”

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