Musk Demands Twitter Employees Commit to ‘Extremely Hardcore’ Work Culture or Face Termination

Elon Musk’s chaotic tenure running Twitter continues apace, less than three weeks after he closed the $44 billion deal for the social network.

After firing Twitter’s senior management team, laying off 50% of the company’s workforce and terminating some two dozen employees who criticized the tech mogul in private and on Twitter, Musk sent an email at midnight PT Tuesday night to the remaining staff outlining “Twitter 2.0” — requiring them to agree to an “extremely hardcore” work environment with “long hours at high intensity” or be fired.

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“If you are sure that you want to be part of the new Twitter, please click yes on the link below,” Musk wrote the email, as reported by the Washington Post and CNBC. Employees were given a 5 p.m. PT Thursday deadline to sign the form, or else be laid off and receive three months of severance pay, as earlier reported by Gergely Orosz, a former Uber and Skype engineer who has been closely following the company.

“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore. This will mean working long hours at high intensity. Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade,” Musk wrote in the email. He added that Twitter will be “much more engineering-driven. Design and product management will still be very important and report to me, but those writing great code will constitute the majority of our team and have the greatest sway. At its heart, Twitter is a software and servers company, so I think this makes sense.”

Meanwhile, Musk said Tuesday that Twitter on Nov. 29 will relaunch the Twitter Blue $8-per-month subscription service, whose perks include a blue check-mark, even though the company will not actually verify the identity of account holders.

Musk’s Twitter rolled out Twitter Blue with the check-mark badge on Nov. 9, only to suspend it two days later — following a deluge of users who set up misleading fake and parody accounts that were “verified.”

That included a parody account impersonating Musk’s own Tesla, as well as accounts posing as Eli Lilly & Co. (which falsely tweeted “we are excited to announce insulin is free now,” prompting a stock sell-off that wiped out $15 billion in market cap), Nintendo (which featured an image of Mario extending the middle finger) and Dave Chappelle (which had tweeted, “Trans women are women. No longer team terf, y’all”). Per the Post report, Twitter Blue had about 150,000 subscribers when the service halted signups.

“Punting relaunch of Blue Verified to November 29th to make sure that it is rock solid,” Musk tweeted. He added that with the new release, “changing your verified name will cause loss of checkmark until [the] name is confirmed by Twitter to meet Terms of Service.”

Musk also Tuesday reiterated that “All unpaid legacy Blue checkmarks will be removed in a few months.” Last week, he had said, “Far too many corrupt legacy Blue ‘verification’ checkmarks exist, so no choice but to remove legacy Blue in coming months.”

Musk has said he wants to build Twitter into something he has termed “X, the everything app,” encompassing more communications and video features. In a Q&A with Twitter staffers, he cited apps like TikTok and WeChat as models for what Twitter should become.

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