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Elon Musk just axed key Twitter teams like human rights, accessibility, AI ethics and curation • TechCrunch

Elon Musk is losing no time making extremely deep cuts at Twitter, calving off many groups doing important work on the firm within the course of. Information of layoffs swept the platform on Friday, exhibiting that Twitter’s billionaire proprietor is portray in broad strokes in terms of trimming down the group by half.

The identical day that Musk complained about supposed activists impacting Twitter’s advert income, he lower some departments outright — actions which are positive to make advertisers all of the extra skittish about Musk’s means to steer a ship with a skeleton crew. As he’s solely owned the corporate for a single week, it’s unattainable to think about that such sweeping layoffs received’t result in dysfunction at Twitter, from the content material moderation insurance policies positive to show essential for Tuesday’s U.S. midterm elections to product groups preserving the platform buzzing.

The cuts look like as broad as they had been deep, affecting every thing from Twitter’s belief and security groups that deal with content material moderation to its advertising division. Listed below are a few of the groups both eradicated outright or hit arduous by the layoffs and what the brand new incarnation of Twitter shall be dropping within the course of.

Human Rights

Former Twitter Former Human Rights Counsel Shannon Raj Singh shared information that the corporate’s human rights group was eradicated Friday. The group labored to guard customers going through human rights violations across the globe, together with activists, journalists and folks affected by conflicts just like the conflict in Ukraine.

Accessibility Expertise

Twitter now former head of accessibility confirmed that the corporate lower the accessibility expertise group, which improved the product for folks with disabilities. The group seems to have had lots nonetheless within the works earlier than it was disbanded.


It’s not but clear what elements of Twitter’s communications group have been lower outright, however the cuts are deep sufficient that many outstanding comms staff on the firm, together with many contacts that TechCrunch has spoken with over time, had been affected. Musk signaled his distaste for inner communications instantly after taking up the corporate, conveying little data to Twitter staff in regards to the modifications, so it’s no shock that the interior communications group is affected as nicely, together with the top of inner comms.

Machine studying ethics, transparency and accountability

Musk dissolved a group identified internally as META, which was well-respected for its exploratory work in moral AI and algorithmic transparency. Rumman Chowdhury, the group’s director, was eliminated, together with the group’s engineers and different members.


Among the layoffs make sense given the issues Musk apparently has little regard for (human rights and accessibility, alarming!), however Twitter’s new proprietor apparently additionally made cuts to groups that appeared poised to assist him extract extra worth from the corporate. The curation team curated the moments tab, programmed the trending matters part, supplied context on these matters and likewise dealt with stay occasions — lots of the issues Twitter does greatest.

Public coverage

Politico reports that half of the corporate’s public coverage group was let go, together with Michele Austin, the previous director of public coverage and elections in Canada and the U.S. who was actively engaged on the U.S. midterms. These cuts reportedly additionally included Twitter group members who work to confirm the accounts of political figures.

This story is creating…

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