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The internet had so many calm, rational thoughts about Elon Musk’s reported plan to gut Twitter

Updated 4 weeks ago
Published Oct 21st, 2022 12:24AM EDT
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Image: Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency

At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me whatsoever if Elon Musk began his first day fully in control of Twitter — whenever that day does, finally, arrive — by sauntering through the elevator doors at Twitter HQ and reenacting the Ari Gold paintball scene from Entourage. That’s because the latest turn of events in the ongoing saga of his deal to buy Twitter, a company for which Elon himself has acknowledged he’s “obviously overpaying,” finds him reportedly wanting to axe almost 75% of the company’s workforce.

That would mean laying off several thousand employees, leaving the company with a staff of around 2,000 or so. Twitter’s general counsel, for his part, sent out an email to employees on Thursday, promising that no mass layoffs are in the works right now. Though, to be sure, the internal deliberations of Twitter’s new billionaire owner, who seems to think that too many people work at the company that sued him to acquire it, are another matter.

Elon Twitter deal update: Mass layoffs coming?

As you can imagine, the internet promptly melted down over this news, as it usually does whenever there’s a new Elon-related headline — whether about his purchase of the social network, or anything else.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022, in New York City. Image source: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

While everyone was reacting to the prospect of potential layoffs on Thursday, by the way, the Tesla CEO himself used his own Twitter account to throw shade at one of his favorite targets (the SEC); to weigh in on whether COVID vaccine recommendations deserve more scrutiny; and to share a crying laughter emoji about the possibility of the US government putting his acquisition under a national security review.

Earlier in the day on Thursday, the future owner of Twitter also congratulated former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for his dig at the just-resigned British Prime Minister Liz Truss. “Bye, bye @trussliz, congrats to lettuce.” Replied Musk: “Pretty good troll tbh”.

Just 24 hours earlier, during Tesla’s earnings call on Wednesday, Musk told investors: “The long-term potential for Twitter, in my view, is an order of magnitude greater than its current value.” And then came the news that he thinks the company employs way too many people.

One important thing to keep in mind: Elon has until October 28 to close this deal. If he doesn’t, he and the company will be back in court to keep fighting over the terms of his original offer — $54.20 a share for the company, which amounts to a takeover offer of $44 billion.

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Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.