Amid reports that hundreds of Twitter employees quit over Elon Musk’s ultimatum to come to work and commit to an “extremely hardcore” commitment to the platform, Musk’s detractors took to Twitter to declare the platform dead.
Twitter locked out numerous employees from its San Francisco offices and suspended their badge access over heightened concerns that some employees would try to sabotage the platform amidst Musk’s restructuring efforts.
As reported by Rebel News, Musk demanded the site’s engineers commit to long working hours at high intensity. “Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade,” he said in a memo.
“Going forward, to build a breakthrough Twitter 2.0 and succeed in an increasingly competitive world, we will need to be extremely hardcore,” he wrote.
Reports, including those in The Week and Verge, suggested that the site was on the “brink of collapse” as a result of resignations over the ultimatum, which came in the wake of a mass layoff of half the company’s 7,500 full-time personnel – not including contractors who worked in moderation enforcement.
“If it does break, there is no one left to fix things in many areas,” said one to Reuters.
“I know of six critical systems (like 'serving tweets' levels of critical) which no longer have any engineers,” another former employee said. "There is no longer even a skeleton crew manning the system. It will continue to coast until it runs into something, and then it will stop."
As the deadline passed, the shedding of unproductive personnel sparked concerns that Twitter was left without engineers critical to its operations, prompting #RIPTwitter and numerous similar phrases to trend late Thursday night.
The site’s demise did not happen as predicted, and many have now shifted their expectations of the site’s predicted death to the weekend, when the 2022 World Cup is scheduled to begin.
While it remains to be seen if Twitter can handle the increased load of user activity, the site remains likely to stay online and Musk himself does not appear to be concerned by the supposed lack of staff critical to its operations.
In a series of tweets, Musk wrote early Friday that the site “just hit another all-time high in Twitter usage lol.”
“Let that sink in,” he wrote.
He also posted memes celebrating the site’s supposed death when it became clear that the site was in no danger of going offline.
Asked by Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy what people meant when they said the site was shutting down, Musk replied, “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”