Elon Musk’s love of free speech appears to be selective.
The owner of Twitter previously called the app “the platform for free speech around the world.” Yet when his own employees criticize him, the rules no longer stand.
On November 13th, former Twitter engineer Eric Frohnhoefer, who was part of the platform’s operating team for Android, said Musk’s statement on Twitter’s performance was “wrong.” Musk asked Frohnhoefer to correct him and explain what he was doing to address why “Twitter is super slow on Android.”
I have spent ~6yrs working on Twitter for Android and can say this is wrong. https://t.co/sh30ZxpD0N
— Eric Frohnhoefer @ 🏡 (@EricFrohnhoefer) November 13, 2022
Frohnhoefer replied with a series of tweets, including one stating these questions should be asked privately.
In a now-deleted but well-documented reply, Musk wrote, “he’s fired.”
Another engineer was fired for a similar response. Ben Leib also tweeted a reply to Musk’s tweet on Twitter’s performance.
“As the former tech lead for timelines infrastructure at Twitter, I can confidently say this man has no idea wtf he’s talking about,” Leib wrote.
Leib told Bloomberg he was fired on November 13th, the same day he responded to Musk.
Following complaints about Twitter’s slowness, Musk tweeted that the company would shut down several microservices he called “bloatware.” After that, several users reported being unable to sign into Twitter because one such microservice was the company’s second-factor authentication (2FA) service — accounts with 2FA were unable to generate a six-digit code to log into the platform.
Other employees who criticized Musk on Slack were also recently shown the door, according to Casey Newton, founder of Platformer.
“‘We regret to inform you that your employment is terminated immediately,” they’re being told over email. “Your recent behavior has violated company policy,'” Newton tweeted. As of writing, it appears 10 employees were fired.
Twitter’s workforce seems to be dwindling by the day. Earlier this month, Musk issued mass layoffs, reducing Twitter’s workforce by almost 50 percent. Thousands of contract employees were also recently forced to leave the company.
Moreover, Musk has lashed out at others who have used Twitter to poke fun at him. Most notable were several celebrity accounts that received bans or suspensions for impersonating Musk. Moreover, Twitter had to suspend the rollout of its revamped Blue subscription after a flood of accounts impersonated high-profile people and companies.
All of MobileSyrup’s Elon Musk x Twitter coverage can be found here.
Updated 15/11/2022 10:48am EST: The article has been updated with information on the recent filings through email.
Header image credit: Shutterstock