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Elon Musk Said to Ramp Up Purge of Engineers Over Alleged Criticism After Twitter Takeover

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What began as the firing of two longtime Twitter engineers after they criticized their new boss has turned into a purge, as Elon Musk clamps down on internal and external dissent. In the past 24 hours, an estimated dozen or so employees have been let go after openly rebuking Musk, who has called himself a “free speech absolutist,” according to two people familiar with the matter. Musk and Twitter haven’t confirmed the firings, but employees have been monitoring the situation through public tweets and private messages.

In one case, Musk announced a firing in a tweet. Engineer Eric Frohnhoefer, who worked on Twitter‘s app for the Android mobile operating system, on Sunday reposted one of Musk’s tweets with a comment, saying that Musk’s understanding of a technical part of Twitter’s app was “wrong.” Musk replied and asked Frohnhoefer to elaborate, before writing, “Twitter is super slow on Android. What have you done to fix that?”

After attempting to explain his thinking in a number of tweets, Frohnhoefer was asked by another user why he hadn’t shared his feedback with his new boss privately. The engineer, who has worked at Twitter for more than eight years, replied, “maybe he should ask questions privately. Maybe use Slack or email.”

On Monday morning, Musk wrote that Frohnhoefer had been fired. Frohnhoefer retweeted that post, and included a saluting emoji that many employees used when they were laid off earlier this month. Twitter and Frohnhoefer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on his status.

Another engineer, Ben Leib, also lost his job following a public posting critical of Musk. He commented on the same post about load times from Musk, writing, “As the former tech lead for timelines infrastructure at Twitter, I can confidently say that this man has no idea wtf he’s talking about.” Leib, who worked at Twitter for a decade, confirmed to Bloomberg that he was fired on Sunday.

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Sasha Solomon, a software engineer, posted Monday night that she was fired for a critical post. “I said it before and I’ll say it again,” she tweeted. “Kiss my a– elon.” Another engineer, Nick Morgan, tweeted a screenshot of the email sent from Twitter HR that said he was fired after his “recent behaviour violated company policy.”

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“My Twitter account was protected at the time, so I can only assume this was for not showing 100 percent loyalty in Slack,’ he tweeted, referring to Twitter’s internal company communications. Morgan and Solomon could not be reached for comment.

Twitter has been thrown into chaos since Musk took over late last month. Many workers remain upset that Musk fired half of the company’s 7,000-plus employees, including most of the senior managers, within about a week of his $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3.6 lakh crore) buyout.

The billionaire also rapidly changed the corporate culture. While it wasn’t previously routine for employees to challenge leadership publicly at Twitter, workers often spoke out on internal Slack channels and by email before Musk showed up, sometimes posting criticism or concerns to the entire company.

Musk’s changes have led to a lack of communication internally in terms of who is in charge and what the company’s priorities are, current and former staffers say.

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The moves have also led to concerns that San Francisco-based Twitter is vulnerable to product breakdowns or technical outages. On Monday, Twitter implemented another coding freeze, halting product updates to the app, and employees say they weren’t given a clear reason why.

Part of Musk’s motivation for purchasing Twitter was to loosen content restrictions, and make it a destination for “free speech” where people can say “outrageous” things. So far, employees say, that sentiment doesn’t extend to his corporate policies.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.


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What Are WhatsApp Polls and How Do You Use Them? All You Need to Know

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WhatsApp’s new features and updates which have rolled out over the past few months have made the messaging experience much better. Now, WhatsApp users can even create polls in personal and group chats to see what their friends and contacts think. Both iOS and Android users can use this feature. A poll could help take the opinions of group members on any topic or idea, or could be useful for making plans quickly. Just like your chats, the responses you send to a poll question will be protected by end-to-end encryption. At the moment, Telegram and Facebook Messenger allow group polls. You can easily start using this new WhatsApp feature on your smartphone.

Here is How to Create a WhatsApp Poll

Step 1: Update WhatsApp to the latest version

Step 2: Open the private or group chat in which you want to create a poll

Step 3: For Android, tap on the paper clip icon at the bottom of the screen. For iOS, select the plus (+) icon at the bottom of the screen.

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Step 4: Select ‘Poll’

Step 5: Type the question you want to ask, along with response options

Step 6: Finally, tap on ‘Send’ to share the poll

Up to twelve response options can be offered to recipients for each poll, and these are not time-bound. Users can also see the responses selected by others by tapping on ‘View votes’.

The Meta-owned messaging app has recently worked on several updates, rolling out new tools including the Call Link feature, the ability to message yourself, and Companion Mode. While some of these new features are not available to all users at the moment, WhatsApp does plan to make them accessible to everyone in the coming days. The most recent and talked-about feature apart from WhatsApp polls is Communities. These allow users to have separate groups under one “Community” to organize large conversations.

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“With Communities, we’re aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else. The alternatives available today require trusting apps or software companies with a copy of their messages – and we think they deserve the higher level of security provided by end-to-end encryption,” stated WhatsApp in a blog post.

See also  Twitter Layoffs: Chaos, Confusion Reign Across Twitter Offices as 7,500 Employees Brace for Job Cuts
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Elon Musk Calls Donald Trump’s Twitter Ban ‘Grave Mistake’, Condemns Violence

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Twitter’s ban on then President Donald Trump after January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters was a “grave mistake” that had to be corrected, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Friday, although he also stated that incitement to violence would continue to be prohibited on Twitter.

“I’m fine with Trump not tweeting. The important thing is that Twitter correct a grave mistake in banning his account, despite no violation of the law or terms of service,” Musk said in a tweet. “Deplatforming a sitting President undermined public trust in Twitter for half of America.”

Last week, Musk announced the reactivation of Trump’s account after a slim majority voted in a Twitter poll in favor of reinstating Trump, who said, however, that he had no interest in returning to Twitter. He added he would stick with his own social media site Truth Social, the app developed by Trump Media & Technology Group.

Republican Trump, who 10 days ago announced he was running for election again in 2024, was banned on January 8, 2021, from Twitter under its previous owners.

At the time, Twitter said it permanently suspended him because of the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the Capitol. The results of the November 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden were being certified by lawmakers when the Capitol was attacked after weeks of false claims by Trump that he had won.

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Trump repeatedly used Twitter and other sites to falsely claim there had been widespread voter fraud, and had urged supporters to march on the Capitol in Washington to protest.

See also  Twitter Layoffs: Chaos, Confusion Reign Across Twitter Offices as 7,500 Employees Brace for Job Cuts

The attack is being investigated by US prosecutors and a congressional committee.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday on Musk’s statement that Trump did not violate any Twitter terms of service when his account was suspended.

Earlier on Friday, Musk tweeted that calling for violence or incitement to violence on Twitter would result in suspension, after saying on Thursday that Twitter would provide a “general amnesty” to suspended accounts that had not broken the law or engaged in spam.

Replying to a tweet, Musk said it was “very concerning” that Twitter had taken no action earlier to remove some accounts related to the far-left Antifa movement. In response to another tweet asking if Musk considered the statement “trans people deserve to die” as worthy of suspension from the platform, the billionaire said: “Absolutely”.

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Change and chaos have marked Musk’s first few weeks as Twitter’s owner. He has fired top managers and it was announced that senior officials in charge of security and privacy had quit.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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WhatsApp Reportedly Testing Voice Status Update for iOS Beta: All Details

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WhatsApp, the Meta-owned instant messaging app, is reportedly working on a feature that will let iOS users share voice notes in their status updates. As of now, the users can only share pictures, videos and links in their WhatsApp status. However, once the new feature will be rolled out, WhatsApp users on iOS will be reportedly able to share voice notes or voice clips as well in their status updates on the app. According to the report, the messaging platform is testing the feature on iOS Beta for an upcoming update.

According to a report by WhatsApp development tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp users on iOS will be able to share a voice note of up to 30 seconds alongside text in their status updates, similar to what they can currently do in a WhatsApp chat.

The report has also shared a screengrab of the same, hinting at the upcoming feature, which shows a microphone icon on the bottom of the text status.

WhatsApp on iOS users will be required to click on the microphone icon and record their voice to upload it as their status update. They can even add text to it, if needed. It is worth noting that the voice status updates will only be shared with the people selected in the privacy settings. Also, these voice notes will always be end-to-end encrypted.

Not only iOS, but this ability is said to be also being tested in WhatsApp beta for Android’s upcoming update. As of now, this feature is still under development, so it would be very early to say anything.

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Meanwhile, WhatsApp recently rolled out WhatsApp Polls to users on both Android and iOS. The Polls feature was introduced alongside ‘Communities’, a feature that allows users to have separate groups under one umbrella to organise group conversations. WhatsApp Polls lets users create polls within the group with the ability to vote. Facebook Messenger and Telegram currently allow users to add group polls. WhatsApp’s poll feature will be protected by end-to-end encryption.

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