All the Twitter Teams Elon Musk Has Cut (So Far)

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Human Rights, Disinformation, Ethical AI are priorities no more.

After a lengthy period of “will he or won’t he,” that’s gone on since last April, Elon Musk finally bought Twitter for the hilarious price of $54.20 per share—$44 billion total—a much higher price than what many analysts consider the company to be worth. Following the acquisition, Musk started telling people that he planned to cut about 3,700 of Twitter’s 7,000-person workforce, according to Bloomberg

Musk started the cuts on Friday, and so far they appear to include the Global Human Rights Team and the Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency, & Accountability team, among other important nodes of work. We know this because members of these teams have been taking to Twitter to let us know who’s been cut, and why their roles were important. Here’s a working list of what we’ve seen so far:

Global Human Rights Team

Global Human Rights seems pretty important! Guess Elon doesn’t agree. According to a tweet thread from now-former Human Rights Counsel, Shannon Raj Singh, some of the team’s work included working to “implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, to protect those at-risk in global conflicts & crises including Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and to defend the needs of those, particularly at risk of human rights abuse by virtue of their social media presence, such as journalists & human rights defenders.”

Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency, & Accountability team

Unchecked, algorithms can do a lot of bad things. Sometimes they produce minor nuisances, but in the worst cases, they can be racist. Joan Deitchman, a former senior engineering manager on this team described its work as “researching and pushing for algorithmic transparency and algorithmic choice,” as well as “studying algorithmic amplification,” and “inventing and building ethical AI tooling and methodologies.”

The team also worked on the Christchurch Call,  an agreement among world leaders and tech companies to “eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online” (created in response to the mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand), and the problems of algorithmic bias, according to a tweet from Rumman Chowdhury, the team’s former head.

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