Twitter employee’s ‘laptop wiped and accounts locked’ as company considers laying off staff

Elon Musk's Twitter account

A Twitter employee has told Sky News his laptop has been remotely wiped and he’s been locked out of his accounts as the company considers mass layoffs.

Reports have suggested that the social network’s new owner, Elon Musk, could get rid of as many as half of the company’s 8,000 employees after buying it for $44bn.

Employees were told not to come into the office on Friday, and informed that they would be told whether or not they still had a job later in the day.

Simon Balmain, a UK-based Twitter worker, told Sky News he found himself locked out of his accounts this morning.

He said: “We started hearing strong rumours of layoffs a few days ago.

“Then, late last night, we all received an email saying there is going to be a large reduction in headcount and the email stated that if we were laid off, we’d have an email sent to our personal email and if not we’d hear on our work email.

“Then in the early hours of the morning, around 2am, I noticed that my laptop was remotely wiped and my email access and Slack access were both revoked.

“I then got in touch with a few colleagues, and it seemed like a lot of people had the same thing.”

Asked how he’d found the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the company since Musk expressed interest in buying Twitter in April, he said: “It’s a weird mix of emotions. I really enjoyed working at Twitter, it’s been incredible, but this acquisition has been unprecedented in about a million different ways.

“Morale has been kind of all over the place, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ever since April when Musk first made the offer, then this lawsuit through the summer. It really has been difficult for people to stay focused

‘I think layoffs were inevitable’

Mr Balmain went on to say that he thought that some layoffs were probably inevitable regardless of whether or not the deal with Musk had gone through.

“I think it would be naive to not have seen [job cuts] coming given everything that was reported about the economics of the deal and he [Musk] was trying to get out of it for so long,” he said.

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“I think layoffs were inevitable. I think to some degree they were probably inevitable regardless, even if the deal hadn’t happened.

“The final amount probably would have been lower if this acquisition hadn’t happened because it’s put a lot on the balance sheet of him and the company.”

The notification of layoffs caps seven days of purges by the entrepreneur.

He has already fired the social media company’s top leadership, which he accused of misleading him over the number of spam accounts on the platform.

Fears over the Tesla and SpaceX founder’s potentially loose stance on content moderation has plenty of genuine users considering quitting the platform, including some celebrities.

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