Twitter employees have reportedly branded their new boss’s team of advisers “Elon’s goons” in the wake of the billionaire’s $44bn takeover of the social media platform.
Employees at the San Francisco-based company have been told to work 12-hour shifts seven days a week to meet Mr Musk’s aggressive deadlines for his new company, according to CNBC.
And staff have reportedly had to share the office with the likes of Mr Musk’s personal lawyer Alex Spiro, venture capitalist David Sacks and tech investor Jason Calacanis.
All of this has led the Twitter staff and their former colleagues to refer to Mr Musk’s inner circle as “Elon’s goons”, according to The New York Times.
Mr Musk also brought 50 engineers and product experts from his other companies, including Tesla, SpaceX, Neurolink and The Boring Company to oversee changes at the company, the newspaper reported.
Within hours of taking control of Twitter last week, Mr Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal, and Vijaya Gadde, head of legal policy, trust, and safety, and general counsel Sean Edgett.
Many of the company’s staff are so distrustful of Mr Musk and his inner circle that they have stopped using the company’s internal Slack channels to discuss work issues, according to CNBC.
Mr Musk has said publicly that he wants to protect “free speech” on Twitter but tried to reassure advertisers that it “obviously cannot become a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences.”
The billionaire has already floated the idea of charging $20 for users to have a verified blue check mark, which has already received widespread blowback from users.
Horror author Stephen King tweeted that he would leave the platform if the charging went into effect, writing “F*** that, they should pay me.”
Mr Musk then tried to haggle about the price with the famed horror author, suggesting he could charge just $8 per month for the feature.
“We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers,” he tweeted.
When one Twitter user suggests that Mr King was wealthy enough to afford it, he replied: “It ain’t the money, it’s the principal of the thing.”
Shortly afterwards Mr Musk tweeted that he had indeed settled on $8 a month for blue ticks, with several other features.
He tweeted:”Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bulls***. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
“Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity
“You will also get: - Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam - Ability to post long video & audio - Half as many ads.
“And paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us.
“This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators.”