Musk demands a "hardcore" work ethic: sign on immediately or leave

Musk required employees to sign the commitment by 5pm ET or automatically receive severance.
Stephen Vicinanza
Elon Musk Feeling Happy
Elon Musk Feeling Happy

Getty Images 

The ups and downs at Twitter have been riveting to the country, but not so much for the employees. Elon Musk in a midnight email has demanded employees sign a commitment to go "hardcore" at Twitter or collect severance.

The letter demanded all employees still remaining at the social media company, must commit to working "long hours at high intensity" or receive "three months' severance" pay, if they do not commit or share his vision for Twitter 2.0.

The email was obtained from employees at Twitter, who shared it with CNBC.

The email was sent around midnight San Francisco time. It comes on the heels of mass firings of staff and executives in key positions, and then slashing the roster for companies contracting with Twitter.

There have been a number of firings linked to criticism of Musk in public and internally on the company's Slack channel.

That and other abrupt changes are causing some concern for the staff still employed by the company. Since October 28, the start of Musk being the only director at Twitter, there have been a number of sweeping changes, one of which was the monetizing of Twitter Blue.

The little blue check mark that is found on many accounts, which has assured users that the account was not an imposter, was used sparingly previous to Musk's takeover of the social media platform.

Musk then started charging $7.99/month for the Blue subscription service, which allowed people to pay for a blue check mark next to their name, which has previously been reserved for verified and official accounts.

This caused a surge in impersonators buying the checkmarks, and then posing as legitimate celebrities, politicians, and brands. A few of the well-known cases had imposters of companies posting false information in tweets.

One of the best-known is Eli Lilly, an international pharmaceutical company that makes insulin. An impersonator had bought a checkmark, used the company's name, and tweeted, "we are excited to announce insulin is free now."

The post remained up for hours before it was taken down. The real Eli Lilly account then posted a tweet that read "We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account."

The stock for Eli Lilly was significantly impacted and went down suddenly after the false message was posted. The company suspended all Twitter advertising indefinitely as a result.

This resulted in Twitter Blue subscriptions being rescinded, and Musk made a statement that it will return on November 29th. He made that announcement in a Tweet.

The email is being passed around the outlets and is not a secret. The fact that Musk sent it at midnight shows a lack of willingness to be upfront with his employees, having them wake up to the news, and only giving them until 2 pm Pacific Time to reply.

The questions are will he allow suspended accounts back on the platform, and will those accounts be able to access Twitter Blue? It's not going the way he plans, as is happening most of the time right now.

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