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Twitter users fear for the platform as Twitter staff leaves

After another departure of Twitter employees, Down Detector reported a surge in users reporting problems accessing the site on Thursday night. Some Twitter users shared a chart showing the dramatic increase in outage reporting. This seemed to confirm the growing concern that the site might not be able to keep up with its staff. However, this was not the case yet.

Twitter didn’t appear to be experiencing an outage. Instead, Down Detector was automatically registering hundreds upon hundreds of tweets from users asking if the site would go “down” or if it would “shut down.” This confusion revealed a real concern about Twitter’s impending demise just weeks after its acquisition by the richest man in the world.

Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, demanded that employees work “extremely hardcore” to keep the company going or they would be forced to leave by 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, most employees opted for the second option. One former executive described the exits as a “mass exodus.”

The former executive who recently left the company said that “they will struggle just to keep it on”.

The platform was like the last day of high school as users absorbed the news late Thursday night and early Friday. The platform was abuzz with people discussing the possibility of sending their last tweets to Musk and the rest of his team if the platform fails to function properly. Musk had earlier in the month laid off approximately 3,700 Twitter employees (or about half of the staff).

Numerous Twitter users suggested that anyone with a crush on them, or any other followers, should come forward if the platform is shut down. Others shared links to other platforms they follow. Ex-employees held “therapy” Twitter chats to talk about better times at the platform, and what they plan to do now that Musk has taken over.

Musk shared a meme that seemed to mock the fact people were talking about the death of Twitter. In a separate tweet, Musk also stated that “the best people will be staying, so I don’t feel super worried.”

Twitter users have already reported issues with the platform, including two-factor authentication problems and a broken test page that appeared live in its trending section on Thursday. Friday morning’s glitch reported that a feature that allows users to download their data from the site was broken.

Twitter has reduced its public relations staff and did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The platform was still up and running as of Friday morning. It almost certainly won’t go down in the immediate future. However, the exits of key infrastructure engineers, as well as other important roles in finance and user safety, raise legitimate concerns about the platform’s ability for the service to continue without interruptions.

One employee at Twitter stated that Friday was a “morgue” and added, “And yes, we are still doing our best today, even though the pace is slow.”

This uncertainty comes at a terrible time for Twitter: Sunday’s World Cup will be the first day of play.

Musk sent an email Friday morning to Twitter’s remaining staff, instructing anyone “who writes software” to report at 2 p.m. PST to the San Francisco headquarters of the company. This despite previously stating that the company’s offices would remain closed through Monday. The staff was asked to send an email describing “what your code commits have accomplished in the last 6 months.”

He asked remote workers to prepare to meet in virtual meetings but said that only those who could not physically travel to Twitter headquarters or are unable to attend a family emergency would be allowed to do so. According to an email copy provided by a former employee, who requested anonymity, the email stated: “These will be brief, technical interviews which allow me to better understand Twitter’s tech stack.”

Musk also said in a third email that he would be grateful if remote employees could fly to San Francisco to meet him.

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