Elon Musk has hired more than 50 of his Tesla engineers to review Twitter’s code, after completing his takeover of the social media company, disbanding the board and firing senior employees.
According to internal records seen by CNBC, Musk has brought over 50 of his Tesla staff who mostly worked on the electric car company’s Autopilot team to review and work on code for Twitter.
In addition to the Tesla hires, three employees from Musk’s other ventures will join Twitter. This will include two employees from the Boring Company, Musk’s venture into building underground road networks, and one person from Neuralink, a company developing implantable brain-machine interfaces.
This latest development in Musk’s Twitter takeover comes days after he cleaned house and ousted some of the senior staff on Thursday night, including CEO Parag Agrawal. Other employees chose to leave Twitter’s headquarters after the layoffs. Musk has also dissolved Twitter’s board of directors.
One of the latest controversies surrounding Musk’s acquisition is his plan to change Twitter’s verification process and change which accounts get blue ticks. Musk announced yesterday that users would have to pay for its verified tick at a cost of $8 per month.
New Twitter CEO Elon Musk was pictured leaving his mother’s New York home to head back to Twitter’s NYC office for his second day after completing the acquisition.
In addition to recruiting employees from his other companies, Musk has called in other investors and friends for the Twitter overhaul. Jared Birchall, the head of Musk’s family office is now involved, as are his angel investment and venture capitalist friends, Jason Calacanis and David Sacks.
A former Tesla engineer who has no involvement in Musk’s Twitter plans told the Washington Post that Tesla engineers would have a hard time understanding the code for the social media platform. The former employee said someone used to coding Tesla technology would struggle with the large, widespread social networking code.
One significant difference is that Twitter runs on code written in Scala, an 18-year-old programming language, compared to the much older and less concise Python programming language used by Tesla.
Pictured: Musk followed his security detail Tuesday as he entered the back of Twitter’s NYC headquarters.
Musk, dressed in red Samurai armor, appeared at Heidi Klum’s 21st annual Halloween party at the Moxy Hotel in New York on Monday.
The former employees told the Washington Post: “The idea that Elon is flanked by his Tesla engineers reviewing Twitter code is laughable.”
It’s not yet known if Musk’s new Twitter recruits will stay on the social media platform full-time or split schedules between the two companies.
Musk completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter last week on October 28. Almost immediately, the tech billionaire fired several of the social media company’s top staff and disbanded its board.
Musk fired Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, general counsel Sean Edgett, as well as policy and legal teams.
Musk will now take over as CEO, although he has publicly called himself “Chief Twit.”
Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland and Chief Product Officer Jay Sullivan have also announced their departures.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was fired from his job by Musk shortly after the takeover was completed. Agrawal is pictured in July 2022.
Chief People and Diversity Officer Dalana Brand announced Tuesday in a LinkedIn post that she had resigned last week as well. General manager of core technology Nick Caldwell confirmed his departure on Twitter, changing his profile bio to “former Twitter executive” on Monday night.
Twitter’s head of advertising, Sarah Personette, tweeted on Tuesday that she was stepping down following the exodus of nearly all of its senior ranks.
It now looks like more Twitter staff may follow suit. Musk plans to let go of a quarter of Twitter’s workforce in his first round of layoffs following his $44 billion takeover, according to reports.
It comes as the new Twitter CEO reportedly issued an ultimatum to the social media platform’s engineers, telling them to revamp Twitter’s verification system in less than two weeks or face the sack.
Celebrity attorney Alex Spiro, a longtime legal representative for Musk, led talks about the cuts, according to the Washington Post.
Twitter’s head of advertising, Sarah Personette, tweeted on Tuesday that she was resigning following an exodus of nearly the entire senior ranks.
Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland (pictured right) and Chief Product Officer Jay Sullivan (pictured left) have also announced their departures.
Chief People and Diversity Officer Dalana Brand (pictured right) announced Tuesday in a LinkedIn post that she had resigned last week as well. General manager of core technology Nick Caldwell (pictured left) confirmed his departure on Twitter, changing his profile bio to “former Twitter exec” on Monday night.
The first round of layoffs will affect nearly every department and is expected to specifically affect sales, product, technology, legal and trust and security in the coming days, the Post’s source claimed.
Twitter had over 7,000 employees at the end of 2021, according to a government filing, and a quarter of its workforce totals nearly 2,000 employees.
Musk’s idea to revamp the verification process for Twitter has so far been controversial. This would see the social media platform charge for its verified tick. Musk’s plan will see and $8 per month cost for the blue goat.
Walking around his new business, Musk explained his plan for Twitter’s verified system on the social media platform itself.
“Twitter’s current lords & pawns system of who has or doesn’t have a blue tick is bullshit,” Musk wrote. ‘Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.’
Musk confirmed on Twitter that access to its verified program will go from free to $8 per month
A blue tick allows other Twitter users to verify that other users are who they say they are.
Musk added that those who sign up for the system will receive “priority in replies, mentions and searches, which is important to defeat spam/fraud, the ability to post long video and audio, half the number of ads and paywall bypass for publishers who are willing to work with us.’
The world’s richest man previously considered a $20 a month fee for blue tick verification, but appeared to lower the cost after criticism from horror author Stephen King.
Author Stephen King, who wrote The Shining, said he will leave the platform if Musk faces a blue tick verification fee.
Musk appeared to haggle with the horror writer, hinting at the $8 price he ultimately settled on.
Twitter restricts certain content moderation tools just days before midterms
Days after Elon Musk took over Twitter and just before the midterms in America, the social media has limited some content moderation tools.
That can hamper staff’s ability to stop misinformation, as they won’t be able to manually amend or penalize accounts.
The change is the latest to be implemented by Musk and comes after he made significant staff cuts and fired the Twitter board, making himself the sole member.
Those working in Twitter’s Trust and Safety organization are currently unable to modify or penalize accounts that violate the platform’s rules on misleading information, offensive posts and hate speech.
According to insiders on the matter, they can only punish people who make posts that violate Twitter’s rules to the extent that they harm the real world, according to Bloomberg.
They added that the team manually maintained these posts.
The change is the latest to be implemented by Musk, pictured at Twitter HQ, and comes after he made significant staff cuts and fired the Twitter board, making himself the sole member
At Twitter, staff have dashboards, called agent tools, to ban or suspend accounts that have violated policy.
Policy violations may be detected automatically or flagged by other Twitter users.
However, only Twitter employees can delete or suspend accounts using the dashboard.
But the tools have been out of service since last week, according to insiders.
This restriction is said to have been put in place as Twitter transitions to Musk ownership in an attempt to stop changes to the app requested by employees.
Sources at the company who asked to remain anonymous revealed that the high level of access to the tools given to employees has dropped from hundreds to just 15.
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