With Twitter losing $3 million per day, Elon Musk has ordered whatever Twitter staff he has left to start making up the difference by cutting Twitter infrastructure costs by $1.5 to $3 million per day. Musk is hoping to save $1 billion in annual costs in what Reuters reported has been dubbed Twitter’s “Deep Cuts Plan,” part of Musk’s ongoing scramble to turn Twitter profits around, seemingly even if it risks platform outages during high-traffic times.
Twitter is not commenting publicly yet on the Deep Cuts Plan, but Musk tweeted Friday morning to express how “extremely messed up” he thinks Twitter’s ad revenue loss is. Many major brands, including Cheerios and Audi, have paused advertising on Twitter, Reuters reported. Both brands told Reuters they would continue to evaluate the situation at Twitter before resuming.
“Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation, and we did everything we could to appease the activists,” Musk tweeted. “Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”
Ad buyers are growing hesitant about advertising on Twitter. Musk has repeatedly said that he has not yet updated Twitter’s content moderation policy, but Twitter’s content moderation has already changed. Since Musk took over, Twitter has restricted staff from policing content violations, and researchers have documented a surge in hate content on the platform. Anecdotally, Redditors have also begun documenting an apparent surge in adult content on the platform.
Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, Yoel Roth, tweeted, “We’re still enforcing our rules at scale,” and he shared a thread detailing Twitter’s efforts to combat the surge in hate content. But advertisers don’t seem as confident in Twitter’s stripped-down approach.
Infrastructure cuts could cause outages
Reuters reports that the key goal of Musk’s Deep Cuts Plan is to cut back on costs for servers and cloud services, which could cause Twitter to become unstable during peak traffic times when users rely most on the platform for the most current updates. That includes during elections like the upcoming US midterms, as well as during moments of crisis like mass protests, acts of war, school shootings, or extreme weather events.
It doesn’t seem to matter to Musk much if the platform becomes unstable. According to Twitter staff sources and a Slack message reviewed by Reuters, Musk’s priority is apparently slashing costs as quickly as possible, setting a November 7 deadline for employees to identify cost-saving infrastructure cuts.
While Twitter staff layoffs have begun as another cost-saving measure, employees who are left to continue working with Musk are expected to be in the office every day for long hours until the Deep Cuts Plan’s goals are achieved.
Meanwhile, NBC News reporter Ben Collins has tweeted that those spared this fate through Musk’s sudden layoffs seem to be happier about the position they’re in.
“Talking to a couple of Twitter employees just now who learned they don’t work there anymore when their email stopped working,” Collins tweeted. “I have never talked to people more excited to get laid off in my entire life.”