Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, is working to root out teams fighting misinformation on the social media platform after outside brokers learned over the weekend that they were out of business.

The social media giant fired its contractors who track hate and other harmful content on Saturday. Some contractors said they didn’t realize they were laid off until they couldn’t sign in for work on Saturday.

Musk’s move comes after Twitter fired most of its full-time employees via email on November 4. About 4,400 of the 5,500 contractors have been laid off, according to Platformer News reporter Casey Newton.

Melissa Engel, who has worked as a contractor at Twitter for more than a year, was among several contractors who said they were terminated without warning on Saturday. She said she was concerned that the abuse on Twitter would increase as employees leave the company.

“I love the platform and have really enjoyed working for the company and trying to improve it. And I am really afraid of what might be slipping through the cracks,” she said.

Twitter contractors were fired without warning Saturday when Elon Musk tried to cut the company's workforce

Twitter contractors were fired without warning Saturday when Elon Musk tried to cut the company’s workforce

Some contractors said they had no idea they were being fired until they could no longer log into the company's systems.  Pictured: Twitter headquarters in San Francisco

Some contractors said they had no idea they were being fired until they could no longer log into the company’s systems. Pictured: Twitter headquarters in San Francisco

Newton said the affected employees are in Twitter’s marketing, content oversight and real estate departments.

“Contractors are never notified, they lose access to Slack and email,” Newton wrote on Twitter. “Managers found out when their employees had just disappeared from the system. They had not heard from their leaders.”

A Twitter executive wrote on the company’s Slack website that a contractor was working on a child safety workflow when, according to Newton, it was blocked without warning.

One contractor said he learned of his firing through Newton’s tweets detailing the mass layoffs.

“Just found out I got kicked out by reading your tweets and then trying to log into Slack and email and found they were completely gone,” the contractor wrote.

Reporter Casey Newton said the affected employees are in Twitter's marketing, content moderation and real estate departments

Reporter Casey Newton said the affected employees are in Twitter’s marketing, content moderation and real estate departments

Newton said some contractors were not notified at all

Newton said some contractors were not notified at all

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One contractor said he didn't realize he was fired until he read a belated tweet from a reporter

One contractor said he didn’t realize he was fired until he read a belated tweet from a reporter

Engel, the data scientist, said she works in the data and monitoring arm of Twitter’s Civic Integrity Team. Their job was to write algorithms to find political misinformation on the platform in countries such as the United States, Brazil, Japan, Argentina, and others.

Engel said she was “pretty sure my work was done” when she couldn’t get to her work email on Saturday. The notification came from the contractor who hired it two hours later.

“I’m just going to post my resume and talk to people,” she said. I have two children. And I worry about being able to give them merry christmas, you know, and such important everyday things. I just think it’s not acceptable to do so at this point.

Sarah Roberts, content editing expert, assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, tweeted on Sunday that “approximately 3,000+ contract employees of Twitter were imprisoned last night.”

Twitter did not say how many contract workers they have cut. The company destroyed its communications division and has not responded to media requests for information since it was acquired by Musk.

Contractors also do other jobs to keep Twitter running,

“Not all contractors are content moderation agents,” Roberts said. “Contractors perform many key roles within the company. But nearly all moderation agents are contracted.

Musk's move comes after he fired some Twitter employees via email on November 4

Musk’s move comes after he fired some Twitter employees via email on November 4

Musk recently tweeted:

Musk recently tweeted: “Please note Twitter is doing a lot of stupid things in the coming months. We’ll keep what works and change what doesn’t.

In the early days after Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in late October and fired its board of directors and top executives, Tesla’s billionaire CEO tried to reassure civil rights groups and advertisers that the platform could continue to quell hate.

The message was echoed by Twitter’s then-Chief of Content Management, Yoel Roth, who tweeted that the November 4 layoffs involved only “15% of our Trust & Safety organization (versus about 50% of company-wide cuts) with a line Our confrontation.” Moderation employees with the affected line suffer the least.

Roth has since retired from the company, joining a group of senior executives tasked with privacy, cybersecurity and compliance.

Timeline of Elon Musk’s attempt to take over Twitter

April 2Musk announced that he owns 9.2 percent of the company, making it the largest single shareholder

April 14: Musk offers to make Twitter private for $54.20 per share, valuing the company at $44 billion

April 25: Twitter accepts an offer from Musk

April 29: Musk is selling $8 billion worth of Tesla stock to fund the deal

May 13Musk says Twitter deal is pending pending verification of bot accounts

May 26: Musk is being sued by Twitter for stock manipulation on takeover

July 8: Musk says he’s going out of business. He is suing Twitter and trying to force him to continue doing so.

4th of October: Musk again suggests continuing the deal at the original price

October 17: Proposed date of trial in Delaware

October 26: Masker visits Twitter HQ with a basin, updates his bio on the site to “Chief Twit”, locates his Twitter HQ

October 27: Musk’s $44 billion Twitter acquisition is finally complete

October 28: Musk fires top Twitter officials, including CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and chief attorney Vijaya Gade, the woman responsible for President Trump’s ban after the January 6 riots last year.

October 30Twitter employees are instructed by Musk to make verified accounts an exclusive feature of Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service.

October 31: Musk confirms he is the new CEO of Twitter and dissolves the board of directors

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11424331/Elon-Musk-fires-thousands-Twitter-contractors-responsible-battling-misinformation-site.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Elon Musk is Thousands of Twitter contractors responsible for combating misinformation on the site have been fired