After another turbulent week under new management, Twitter staff has reached a breaking point.

Elon Musk, Twitter’s new CEO following a chaotic acquisition process, has received severe criticism from the community and company staff over his decisions. Notably, one of Musk’s first changes after taking over was eliminating the “blue checkmark” that signified a verified account and instead made it so blue checkmarks were given to anyone who subscribed to Twitter Blue for $8 a month.

As anyone could have predicted, this led to a lot of confusion as users took the opportunity to impersonate large brands and even Musk himself, leading him to temporarily prevent users from changing their names and profile pics. This restriction has since been lifted, and truly “verified” users now have a gray “Official” label under their name – which seems like an additional step to solve an issue that was only created by the changes Musk imposed.

Most recently on the night of November 17th, many users were afraid Twitter would be brought offline entirely.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Reportedly, Musk sent an email to staff with an ultimatum to which staff had to reply with “yes” or take their leave from the company. The staff at that moment was composed of around 3600 employees remaining after Musk laid off about 75% of Twitter’s staff once he took over.

The email asked that staff should be expected to work “extremely hardcore” for long hours or leave the company by Thursday 5 pm ET. “This will mean working long hours at high intensity,” the email states. “Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.” (Source: The Washington Post)

Perhaps the CEO didn’t expect that staff would deny his request en masse, with a significant number of employees choosing to forgo his demands and abandon ship. If this was his intention, it’s hard to say what exactly could be gained from it.

Many users took to saying farewell to followers, sharing their secret crushes, and linking their other social media profiles in the event of a shutdown. This was further exacerbated by the reports of massive Twitter outages around the world and Musk calling for office shutdowns, with members of staff reporting their ID cards had been revoked.

However, at the time of writing, the platform has not been shut down and remains online.

A picture of Elon Musk pointing his finger with a smug smile.
Source: Queens Citizen

It seems as though many of the staff have indeed decided to abandon ship and Twitter may become more unstable as a result, but the platform isn’t dead yet, for lack of a better term. Data suggests that over 1000 employees may have decided to quit, but the exact number is still unclear.

Musk's only public “comment” regarding the entire situation was a tweet of the “death emoji” as everyone was worried about the end of the platform.

Alternative platforms have started to gain traction, such as Mastodon, Koo, and the unreleased platform by Twitter’s ex-CEO, Bluesky.

Mastodon is an open-source platform without an algorithm, allowing users and creators to control exactly what they want to see. Reports say it’s a bit rough around the edges, but shows a lot of potential for those that want full control in an ad-free environment.

Koo is an Indian microblogging alternative to Twitter, very similar in design and intent, only with a much smaller user base. Reports show that it’s not super stable after the influx of new users for such a small platform.

Finally, ex-CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey is opening closed tests for his new platform Bluesky, supposedly a direct competitor to Twitter. Little is known about it yet, but sign-ups for the beta have risen considerably since Musk acquired Twitter. Dorsey is surely aware that this is a golden opportunity to capitalize on the situation, so it’s safe to assume Bluesky will become more available to the public soon.

This entire situation is particularly bad for Twitter since the World Cup is set to start on November 21st and if the platform becomes unstable during this period, it would be a huge blow to Twitter’s viability as a reliable platform.