Tech companies that have become more transparent in their workplace are seeing their own tools being used to criticise them.
Elon Musk does not want to be the centre of jokes, so he is levying a penalty for people who trash him on Twitter. He offered: “Trash me all day” – but it will cost you.
In this time of extreme transparency and social media, thousands of people share their experiences with being laid off. Whether it’s Meta or Twitter, thousands of individuals have been publicly let go in recent weeks as social media provides an outlet for instant processing.
When Twitter laid off hundreds of employees, laid off employees were able to tweet about their frustration and uncertainty on a platform that created this new generation of workplace transparency. Many of the tweets were tagged and included hashtags such as #LoveWhereYouWork, #TwitterLayoffs, and #OneTeam.
“It was the most humanity-affirming moment that as each tweet was fired, we all posted,” quoted Rumman Chowdhury, who was part of ethics and transparency at the company, adding the emoji of a salute. “We laughed and rejoiced in the decency and kindness of friends. What a sendoff, Twitter.”
Unfortunately, in this era, people seem to immediately mourn their unemployment online instead of with friends at a gloomy bar. In the past, it was an intimate experience and often a taboo topic. We live in an age where anything you do is instantaneous public information.
With the rise of online and virtual relationships, there is an increased need for transparency. Platforms that started with clarity in other workplaces are now coming under scrutiny for their missteps.
When Twitter came around, the norms of candid communication became more mainstream. It’s been on display at the company throughout Mr. Musk’s takeover. Former employees have used it to share their frustration over being laid off. And Mr. Musk has used the platform to defend his decisions and make jokes about masturbation.
Many former Twitter employees and other laid-off workers have recently posted on social media. “Just found out I’ve been laid off at Meta,” wrote David Jagneaux, a former technology communications manager, on Twitter this week. “I’m actively seeking my next opportunity.”
Although public layoffs are tough on employees, they can also offer a boost at a difficult time. Some workers have received offers to interview with other companies after going through their company’s public layoff process. General layoffs can provide employees with a sense of community and accountability that remote layoffs cannot.
“Twitter is a great place for people to speak out,” said Ms. Inman. “But if you’re a whistle-blower trying to expose the truth about Elon Musk-run Twitter, for instance, you have to be concerned that there’s a moving definition of truth.”
Recently, though, Mr. Musk has taken to Twitter to flex his new power on the platform: “It’ll cost $8,” he wrote jokingly on Saturday. “Trash me all day.”
Alternately angry and reflective tweets from laid-off Twitter employees stacked up under the hashtags and overpowered tech giants.