Musk seems to want to keep the inner workings of Twitter a secret from the public and would rather have everything remain wrapped in mystery, except from the “truth” that he broadcasts as he sees appropriate.
A rift seems to have formed between Musk and one of his most trusted enforcers. It was Ella Irwin, Twitter’s head of Trust and Safety, who tweeted incongruent information, prompting Musk to dismiss an engineer.
Elon Musk and his colleagues recently altered Twitter’s anti-suicide features. Twitter removed the #ThereIsHelp function, which allowed users to promote suicide-prevention services alongside specific posts.
Irwin contacted Reuters, which had broken the news, immediately after the story broke to clarify that the function had been “temporarily deleted,” as reported by Ars Technica. She promised its return this week after Twitter “fixed and revamped our prompts.”
The situation took a peculiar turn, however, when Elon Musk directly contradicted Irwin’s assertion by claiming that the Reuters article was incorrect and that the function was never disabled. Musk called the Reuters article “false news” in a subsequent tweet and reminded his followers that “Twitter doesn’t prevent suicide.”
Reuters quickly followed up with a second story claiming the function had been temporarily disabled and then reinstated once the news of its absence spread. Everything that has happened, from the removal of the function to its subsequent reinstatement, has been carried out under Elon Musk’s direction, who wants to do rid of all “useless” features on Twitter. Reuters’ second article cited the same two sources, saying that shutdown and restoration instructions came directly from Musk.
Musk has been contradicted by a worker on Twitter before. When Musk recently complained that the app was sluggish in a lot of countries and that he apologises for it, Twitter developer Eric Frohnhoefer publicly called him out on it. His primary complaint was that app loading times varied greatly per country.
The tech entrepreneur and the engineer had a public spat instead of meeting behind closed doors to iron out their differences, and Musk then announced Frohnhoefer’s dismissal without offering an explanation.
Numerous other ex-Twitter workers have been fired for speaking out against Musk and were ultimately let go.
When Musk took over Twitter in June, several of the senior members of the trust and safety team either departed or were fired, and Irwin quickly moved to the position of head of her section.
The Twitter suspensions of journalists over the doxxing of Elon Musk and his plane were reportedly identified internally as authorised not by Musk, but by the “direction of Ella,” according to the Washington Post.
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