Human Rights to Accessibility: A look at key Twitter teams axed

As per Tech Crunch, key Twitter teams including Human Rights, Accessibility, Al Ethics and Curation have been axed so far by the Tesla CEO.
Layoff at Twitter
Layoff at TwitterTwitter

WASHINGTON: Days after taking control of Twitter, Elon Musk, on Friday, began firing hundreds of employees in departments across the company.

As per Tech Crunch, key Twitter teams including Human Rights, Accessibility, Al Ethics and Curation have been axed so far by the Tesla CEO.

The particular news was also confirmed by fired employees on social media. Many posted farewell messages confirming that they have been let go under the mass layoff at Twitter by the microblogging site’s new boss Musk.

Human Rights

In a tweet, former Twitter Human Rights Counsel Shannon Raj Singh shared news that the company’s human rights team was eliminated on Friday.

“Yesterday was my last day at Twitter: the entire Human Rights team has been cut from the company. I am enormously proud of the work we did to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, to protect those at-risk in global conflicts & crises including Ethiopia,Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and to defend the needs of those particularly at risk of human rights abuse by virtue of their social media presence, such as journalists & human rights defenders,” Shannon’s post on Twitter read.

The team worked to protect users facing human rights violations around the globe, including activists, journalists and people affected by conflicts like the war in Ukraine.

Accessibility Experience

The news of axing of Accessibility Experience team of Twitter was confirmed by the former head of the particular department Gerard K. Cohen.

“I am officially no longer the Engineering Manager for the Accessibility Experience Team at Twitter. I have words.Along with me, my entire engineering team has been let go. Before I get into my own thoughts, I want to honor them. If you are looking to hire some brilliant accessibility engineers, keep reading,” he tweeted.

The team improved the product for people with disabilities. The team appears to have had a lot still in the works before it was disbanded, Tech Crunch reported.

Communications

It’s not yet clear what parts of Twitter’s communications team have been cut outright, but the cuts are deep enough that many prominent comms employees at the company were affected.

“Twitter is so special. After 4 yrs, I’m leaving with the fullest, experiences I never imagined, and unbreakable bonds with so many Tweeps. My head is held high, knowing I gave it my absolute all.@TwitterComms: We have so much to be proud of. Time to fly even higher! #OneTeam,” now former employee at Twitter Communications tweeted.

Machine learning ethics, transparency and accountability Musk dissolved a team known internally as META, which was well-respected for its exploratory work in ethical AI and algorithmic transparency. Rumman Chowdhury, the team’s director, was eliminated, along with the team’s engineers and other members. Curation According to Tech Crunch, Curation team was also axed by Musk.The Curation team curated the moments tab, programmed the trending topics section, provided context on those topics and also handled live events. The team also worked to fight misinformation on the platform. Musk, on Saturday, defended his layoff decision as he stressed “unfortunately there is no choice”. He shared that Twitter “is losing $ 4 million a day.” “Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day. Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required (sic),” Musk tweeted amid wide criticism of how layoffs have been carried out within a week of acquisition. Musk had taken over the firm last week when three top executives – CEO Parag Agrawal, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde – were asked to leave.

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