Most of Twitter’s 200 employees in India have been laid off as part of Elon Musk’s decision to lay off half of the company’s global workforce in an effort to cut costs. Almost all business verticals have been affected, and except to maintain a skeleton staff in sales, Twitter has laid off entire teams in marketing, communications and partnerships in its India office.
This is in line with the statements of many former Twitter employees from around the world on social media, who claim that they were fired, locked out of slack and internal email accounts as part of the permissions they have done all over the world.
It was a tense day for Twitter employees on Friday, after an internal email informed staff that they will receive an email on Friday morning informing them that they have been let go. “All offices will be temporarily closed and badge access suspended, and every employee in an office has been asked to go home,” the internal memo said.
A Twitter employee in India said line of business, “Everybody saw it coming. We all know how humans work and we know we’re going to be affected when Elon Musk takes over. None of us were surprised.” Almost all of Twitter India’s 200-odd employees spread across its three offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have been laid off in the mass layoff, the employee says.
It is currently unclear whether Twitter India has given severance pay to employees who have been fired, although globally there are reports that some staff have received severance pay.
Running operations in India with a skeleton staff could raise additional concerns on the regulatory front. Twitter has fought a case in the Karnataka High Court, challenging the government’s order to block certain Twitter accounts. It is currently unclear whether Twitter has retained its public policy team, although a 25-year-old staffer on the policy team has also been fired. “If accurate (news of layoffs), this is worrying since it will have a severe impact on the organization’s ability to maintain its current course / respond to regulatory changes, which will add even more uncertainty and unpredictability to the public sphere of India at a time when regulatory interventions like the recently notified amendments to the IT Rules 2021 seek to exercise more control over speech through instruments like the GAC,” said Prateek Waghre, Policy Director at Internet Freedom Foundation.
While some employees in the United States filed a lawsuit to challenge the firing, others were grateful to escape “a potentially toxic work environment under Musk.”
A Twitter India employee said that working for the social media company was a dream come true. “It was about people, community and we are a very strong community. I absolutely loved my time here. There is a tremendous outpouring of support for us,” he said.
Fired Twitter employees wear their layoffs like a badge of honor, and link above. “I cooled off for a few weeks and then started looking for a job,” she said, not sounding too worried.
(With inputs from Chitra Narayanan)
Twitter users face problems amid layoffs from Elon Musk
Web users are facing problems while logging in and accessing feeds