Black Twitter has long been an interesting place for Black people on social media. From hilarious memes to social and political commentary, Twitter has been a go-to spot for news and discourse. The protection of this space has come into question since Elon Musk officially took over the company, noting his long but documented history of alleged discriminatory actions and perspectives.
Adding to this action list is Musk’s recent termination of employees from the social media giant’s Africa office.
The acquisition: Elon Musk finalized his acquisition of Twitter in late October 2022. The deal finally happened after several months of legal battles and controversial moves. Since the purchase became official, the controversy around the deal hasn’t stopped.
In addition to the cultural shake-ups that happened, Musk’s arrival as the leader of Twitter also meant the departure of previous executives, specifically Parag Agrawal, the former CEO, and Ned Segal, the former CFO.
Now, Musk is continuing the trend of removing staff as Twitter announced significant layoffs in its Ghana office. According to BBC, the team in the Ghana office was sent termination emails to their personal email and not their official Twitter emails as they were already denied access.
SCOOP – CNN has obtained the termination notice sent to staff at Twitter's only office in Africa – in Accra 🇬🇭
It was sent to their personal emails but didn't mention any of them by name. Unlike in the US, it doesn't offer next steps or severance pic.twitter.com/R868moImlh
— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) November 8, 2022
"From the mail to the lack of next steps to the tone of the letter. Just everything. Ridiculously insulting," a staff member told BBC.
The Ghana office only had a little under 20 employees, and the last day for all affected by the layoff is Dec. 4.
Twitter’s Africa staff in Ghana have been placed on ‘garden leave’ until their last day on 4th December. They remain employees with full pay & benefits but with restrictions. They also have no access to their emails, work computers and Slack. Just waiting to leave
— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) November 9, 2022
The layoffs were a move by Musk and his plan to cut costs by reducing staff globally. Twitter “is re-organizing its operations as a result of a need to reduce costs,” noted in Twitter’s email to its Ghana employees.
The Ghana office was announced in April 2021 but officially opened on Nov. 1, Insider reports.
Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, praised the move by calling it excellent.
Now that it’s over, the move leaves the employees in limbo as there have been no details about the next steps or severance pay.
The layoff correspondence from Twitter’s management also gave a “warning” to staff to not “contact or deal with any customers, clients, authorities, banks, suppliers or other employees of the Company and are required to inform the Company if contacted.”