'We're f****d': Woke Twitter employees' hand-wringing about Elon Musk revealed

Some of the strongest comments against Elon Musk were made publicly from the employees’ Twitter accounts as well


                            'We're f****d': Woke Twitter employees' hand-wringing about Elon Musk revealed
Twitter employees are not happy with Elon Musk (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME)
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Elon Musk is set to buy Twitter for $44 billion, a deal that he struck on Monday, April 25. The firm, which is publicly traded, will now become a private company owned by the world's richest man. On the business communication platform Slack, used for internal chit-chat, some Twitter employees ranted against the new owner. 

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A site reliability engineer who identifies as a nonbinary transgender and plural person wrote “Physically cringy watching Elon talk about free speech." A senior staff software engineer, who called Musk an “a**hole,” tried to console his colleagues by saying, "We’re all going through the five stages of grief in cycles and everyone’s nerves are frazzled." He added, "We’re all spinning our wheels, and coming up with worst case scenarios (Trump returns! No more moderation!). The fact is that [Musk] has not talked about what he’s planning on doing in any detail outside of broad sweeping statements that could be easily seen as hyperbolic showboating.” A senior staff video engineer announced he would be quitting. He wrote, “Not the place to say it perhaps, but I will not work for this company after the takeover.”

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Though many of the internal Slack comments were personally critical of Musk, a few employees weren’t as outraged and some actively pushed back. A woman in the design department said “I don’t know much about him, I don’t really care. I would just love free speech to be [the] highest priority. I don’t care who leads that. Especially for minorities like myself, I had no rights at all in my home country."

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In this photo illustration, news about Elon Musk's bid to takeover Twitter is tweeted on April 25, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. It was announced today that Twitter has accepted a $44 billion bid from Musk to acquire the company. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Following the back-and-forth among multiple employees angry about the news, some warned that their communications on Slack could be searched. The employees then moved their conversations onto their personal devices using the encrypted chat application signal.

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But not all employees kept their views within internal business chats. Some of the strongest comments against Musk were made publicly on employees’ Twitter accounts as well. Jay Holler, an engineering manager, broke down in multiple tweets earlier in the month when it was announced that Musk could take on a leadership role. “The problem with @elonmusk is that he has demonstrated a pattern of harmful behavior consistently that disproportionately impacts marginalized people, so maybe let’s not give him any more power than he already stole?” Holler later tweeted, “I’m radicalized now.” Laura Gomez, who used to lead localization for Twitter, tweeted: “A M*sk-owned Twitter is one of the greatest threats to the 2022 and 2024 elections. We are f*cked if this happens.” She has since deleted the tweet but others on Twitter have posted screenshots of her tweet as proof that the platform interfered with free speech before the Musk takeover.

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