The chaos at Twitter continues, and the latest story is really weird.
As reported by Casey Newton and Zoe Schiffer on The Verge, Elon Musk recently fired a top engineer at the company. Why? Apparently, the firing occurred because the new owner’s tweets weren’t as popular as they were when Musk bought Twitter last year.
According to the report, Musk held a meeting with engineers on Tuesday and complained about the decreasing performance of his tweets.
“This is ridiculous,” he said, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the meeting. “I have more than 100 million followers, and I’m only getting tens of thousands of impressions.”
One engineer reportedly told Musk that the reason for his decrease in tweet performance was because, well, Musk isn’t as newsworthy as he was a few months ago. At least, that’s what Google Trends had to say about the billionaire.
Employees showed Musk internal data regarding engagement with his account along with a Google Trends chart. Last April, they told him, Musk was at “peak” popularity in search rankings, indicated by a score of “100.” Today, he’s at a score of nine. Engineers had previously investigated whether Musk’s reach had somehow been artificially restricted but found no evidence that the algorithm was biased against him.
Musk reportedly responded to the evidence by firing the engineer, saying “you’re fired, you’re fired.”
The report also found out what happened when Twitter went through a number of issues earlier this week. At one point, tens of thousands of users found they were unable to tweet. Apparently, someone deleted the service that manages rate limits, causing the issue.
It turns out that an employee had inadvertently deleted data for an internal service that sets rate limits for using Twitter. The team that worked on that service left the company in November.
One employee made it pretty clear about what life is like inside Twitter right now when they said “as the adage goes, ‘you ship your org chart. It’s chaos here right now, so we’re shipping chaos.”
The news comes as the company banned third-party clients like Tweetbot and Twitterrific and plans to charge brands up to $1000 per month to stay verified.