Apple

Twitter employees fired by tweet; others can get stock; ads high risk, says biggest agency

From 9to5mac.com


A number of Twitter employees have been fired in tweets by the company’s new owner, Elon Musk. The billionaire apparently wasn’t pleased at being publicly fact-checked by his own engineers …

Twitter employees fired by tweet

Engadget reports at least three examples.

At least three Twitter employees who survived the mass layoffs that cut the company’s workforce in half have been fired after calling out their new boss on the platform. One of them is Eric Frohnhoefer, who responded to Elon Musk’s tweet apologizing for Twitter being slow in many countries. “App is doing >1000 poorly batched RPCs just to render a home timeline!†Musk wrote. Frohnhoefer responded that after six years of working on Twitter for Android, he can say that Musk’s statement “is wrong.â€Â 

The multi-company executive then asked him what the right number was and what has he done to fix Twitter for Android, which has been “super slow.†He replied with the work his team has done for the app and listed a few reasons on why it’s slow: “First it’s bloated with features that get little usage. Second, we have accumulated years of tech debt as we have traded velocity and features over perf. Third, we spend a lot of time waiting for network responses.â€

Their exchange went on in several threads, and when one user told Frohnhoefer that he should’ve informed his boss privately, he replied: “Maybe he should ask questions privately. Maybe using Slack or email.†After that, Musk informed everyone on Twitter that Fronhoefer had been fired.

The former Twitter app engineer told Forbes that he had gotten no communication from Twitter about his dismissal and that his laptop “just shut off.â€

Musk has since deleted his tweet.

Two other senior engineers had the same experience after publicly correcting Musk’s claims.

Exceptional employees can still get stock

Although the company is 100% owned by Musk, and it’s not possible to buy shares in it, he has said that ‘exceptional’ employees can still be awarded stock in the company. CNBC saw the memo.

Even though Twitter is now a private company we absolutely will continue to provide stock and options as part of our ongoing compensation plan.

The stock plan will be much like that of SpaceX, which has been very successful. As with SpaceX, exceptional amounts of stock will be awarded for exceptional performance.

Twitter ads high risk, says world’s biggest agency

The world’s largest ad agency, GroupM, has warned clients that buying ads on Twitter puts their brands at high risk of damage, reports Platformer.

GroupM, the largest media-buying agency in the world, with $60 billion in annual media spend, told its clients that Twitter was a high-risk media buy, according to Digiday and an email obtained by Platformer. Twitter’s agency partnerships lead explained the situation in Slack: “Given the recent senior departures in key operational areas (specifically Security, Trust & Safety, Compliance), GroupM have updated Twitter’s brand safety guidance to high risk. While they understand that our policies remain in place, they feel that Twitter’s ability to scale and manage infractions at speed is uncertain at this time.â€

Major brands – including General Motors, Pfizer, Volkswagen, Eli Lilly, and T-Mobile – had already pulled many millions of dollars of ads from Twitter ahead of the warning. Two other big ad agencies, Mediabrands and Omnicom Media Group, have also advised their clients to pull ads from Twitter.

GroupM put together an extensive list of things it would need to see before it could recommend buying ads on Twitter. These are almost exclusively undoing the changes Musk has made to the platform.

  • Return to baseline levels of NSFW / toxic conversation on the platform
  • Re-population of IT Security, Privacy, Trust & Safety senior staff
  • Establishment of internal checks & balances
  • Full transparency on future development plans of community guidelines / content moderation / anything affecting user security or brand safety
  • Demonstrated commitment of effective content moderation, enforcing current Twitter Rules (e.g. account impersonation, violative content removal timing, intolerance of hate speech and misinformation)â€

Musk ignored verification warnings

The Verge reports that Musk’s own trust and safety team sent him a seven-page list of warnings about what would happen if he made the blue verification checkmark something anyone could buy.

“Motivated scammers/bad actors could be willing to pay … to leverage increased amplification to achieve their ends where their upside exceeds the cost,†reads the document’s first recommendation, which the team labeled “P0†to denote a concern in the highest risk category.

“Impersonation of world leaders, advertisers, brand partners, election officials, and other high profile individuals†represented another P0 risk, the team found. “Legacy verification provides a critical signal in enforcing impersonation rules, the loss of which is likely to lead to an increase in impersonation of high-profile accounts on Twitter.â€

Twitter reportedly didn’t implement a single one of the recommendations the team made to minimize the damage.


The post Twitter employees fired by tweet; others can get stock; ads high risk, says biggest agency first appeared on 9to5mac.com

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