Elon Musk has defended sacking half of Twitter’s almost 8,000 workers, saying “unfortunately, there is no choice”.
Mr Musk insisted that the platform’s commitment to moderation remained “absolutely unchanged” following reports that the company’s misinformation team was laid off.
He tweeted: “Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4m (£3.5m) a day.
“Everyone exited was offered three months of severance, which is 50 per cent more than legally required.”
The social media company began widespread staff cuts around the world on Friday, with suggestions that as many as half of its more than 7,500 staff could be axed.
Its head of safety Yoel Roth later said jobs cuts have affected about 15 per cent of the trust and safety department, as opposed to approximately 50 per cent of cuts company-wide.
Mr Musk is thought to want to drastically reduce costs at the company after completing his $44bn (£39bn) takeover of the platform last week, since tweeting “we need to pay the bills somehow”.
The billionaire also tweeted a series of posts by head of safety Yoel Roth, which said: “Here are the facts about where Twitter’s Trust & Safety and moderation capacity stands today.
“While we said goodbye to incredibly talented friends and colleagues yesterday, our core moderation capabilities remain in place.
“Yesterday’s reduction in force affected approximately 15 per cent of our Trust & Safety organisation (as opposed to approximately 50 per cent cuts company-wide), with our front-line moderation staff experiencing the least impact.
“Last week, for security reasons, we restricted access to our internal tools for some users, including some members of my team. Most of the 2,000-plus content moderators working on front-line review were not impacted, and access will be fully restored in the coming days.”
Mr Musk, followed this with a tweet saying: “Again, to be crystal clear, Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged.
“In fact, we have actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline below our prior norms, contrary to what you may read in the press.”
He had earlier accused “activist groups” of “pressuring” advertisers into leaving the social media giant and causing a drop in revenue.
The Tesla owner also replied to posts and memes from users about advertising, in one saying: “Twitter will not censor accurate information about anything.”
Online safety groups and campaigners have expressed concerns about Mr Musk’s plans to allow more free speech on the site and possibly reverse bans given to controversial figures, including President Donald Trump.
There have been reports that some advertisers have been concerned about the possibility of such figures returning and appearing alongside their adverts on the site.
Photo Credit: Getty