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Twitter lays off employees in public policy, engineering

Despite already cutting thousands of employees, the layoffs at Twitter continue. According to posts on Twitter and LinkedIn from a former public policy employee, Twitter cut half of its public policy team. TechCrunch asked both the former employee and Twitter for comment but could not immediately confirm the exact magnitude of these cuts.

Twitter also laid off some engineers in infrastructure via email on Friday. Across all of Twitter, it’s estimated that about 75% of employees have either chosen to leave or have been laid off since Elon Musk took ownership of the company in October.

Theodora Skedas, the public policy employee who posted that she was laid off, said that she was responsible for managing the Trust and Safety Council, which was dissolved last week.

The group, formed in 2016, weighed in on content moderation and human rights-related issues such as the removal of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), suicide prevention and online safety. Skedas also worked to develop policies around CSAM and mental health issues.

The Trust and Safety Council was shut down days after three key members left and published an open letter.

“We are announcing our resignation from Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council because it is clear from research evidence that, contrary to claims by Elon Musk, the safety and wellbeing of Twitter’s users are on the decline,” the letter said.

Made up of around 100 independent researchers and activists, the remaining council members received a notice that the group would be dissolved because it no longer seemed like the best system for Twitter to get external insight.

Musk has said that addressing the issue of CSAM is “priority #1,” but he has not yet taken action to follow through on that commitment. He also previously told a panel of civil rights leaders that he would refrain from reinstating banned users until there was a transparent process to do so, but he broke that promise.

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