As thousands of Twitter users prepared for the platform’s demise on Thursday night into Friday morning, new owner Elon Musk was working on memes.
According to Reuters, hundreds of staff departed after the billionaire Tesla CEO — whose tenure at Twitter began with big layoffs — instructed his employees through email that they had to work in a “very hardcore” fashion or leave the firm…
These departures, combined with a rumored intention to close Twitter’s headquarters and restrict credential access until Monday, fueled concerns about the app’s survival, with the hashtag “#RIPTwitter” trending as a result.
Meanwhile, Musk said Thursday night that he was unconcerned. Musk responded to Dave Portnoy of Barstool Sports by writing, “the best employees are staying, therefore I’m not really worried.”
Musk also shared a few memes as Twitter users began to lament the social media network, including one of a man posing next to a cemetery at a funeral service, with the Twitter logo emblazoned on both the mourner and the tombstone.
“And… we just surpassed another all-time high in Twitter usage. Allow that to sink in,” Musk wrote in another tweet, adding, “Record numbers of users are logging in to see if Twitter is dead, ironically making it more alive than ever!””
Musk’s demand for employees to work “long hours at high intensity” or quit, according to Reuters, came after he purchased the platform for $44 billion last month, following a legal struggle that erupted when he backed out of the agreement in July. ..
Just days later, Musk reportedly let rid of over half of Twitter’s then-7,000-strong team.
Twitter did not react quickly to PEOPLE’s request for comment on stories of staff quitting the firm, office closures, or user posts about the platform shutting down.
Twitter, according to The New York Times, no longer has a communications team.
Former Twitter vice president Bruce Daisley told the BBC that in response to the large exits, the platform might “collapse as soon as Monday.”
“There are a lot of features that appear to be reliant on having engineers on site,” he says. “If those engineers go, the product’s long-term viability is jeopardized. So many people are posting where else you may obtain them online.”
According to Reuters, over 110 Twitter employees have announced their departure on the app, while 15 have stated their decision to stay in response to Musk’s email ultimatum to build out his “Twitter 2.0” vision for the company.
Musk’s email to staff, titled “A Fork in the Road,” reportedly offered three months’ severance money to those who choose to quit the company. In their tweets, many of those who departed used the hashtag #LoveWhereYouWorked.
As most of the internet feared the platform’s doom, writing was projected onto the side of Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, branding Musk a “lawless oligarch,” “space Karen,” and “mediocre manchild,” among other disparaging terms.
“I don’t want to stay and produce a product that’s being poisoned from the inside and out,” one of the staffers planning to defy Musk’s ultimatum told CNN.
“Everyone pays a price to some extent, and this severance provides me with some comfort in seeking for a better environment in the time frame despite the economy.”
Another employee, who was laid go by the company earlier this month, stated that staff “can’t disregard the public mocking and firing of other colleagues.”
“In the same spirit,” the former employee added, “they can’t overlook or feel comfortable working for someone who has handled the last several weeks in the way Elon has.”
“People don’t want to give up their mental health and family lives to make the world’s richest man richer.”