Twitter users were quick to react — potentially for the last time.
Twitter was alight Thursday night as hundreds of employees vacated the platform following Elon Musk’s ultimatum demanding that they commit to a “hardcore” work environment, or be fired. Amid the “mass exodus,” #RIPTwitter and #GoodbyeTwitter started trending as disbelieving Twitter users wondered if this signaled the end for the social media site.
The chaos began Thursday night after Musk, who had fired half of the company’s 7,500 staff after his $44 billion takeover, called on the remaining workers to get on board with “Twitter 2.0” or leave by 5 p.m. A whopping 75% reportedly chose the latter, potentially resulting in an alleged 88% dip in the Twitter workforce since Musk’s acquisition, according to a tweet thread by Fortune techspert Kylie Robison.
Among those sacked were 80% of the engineering staff, including the team that keeps the platform’s core system libraries up and running, the Verge reported. Following the mass exodus, Twitter announced that its offices would be closed until Monday and that workers’ badges access would be cut until then.
Needless to say, many Twitter users mourned what they believed was the platform’s impending death, and also ripped Musk for allegedly causing the demise.
“Musk turned one of the biggest sites on the internet into a crater within a month,” fumed one disillusioned doomsayer. “I never want to hear anyone call him other than a dips–t ever again. Twitter HQ RIP Twitter.”
“It’s been a pleasure tweeting with y’all for the past 13 years. #RIPTwitter,” wrote another mourner in an anticipatory Twitter tribute. They also included the infamous still from “Titanic” depicting the musicians performing while the ship goes down.
“Goodbye Twitter, been a good run,” saluted one Twitter wit. They also uploaded a pic of the notorious “disaster girl” meme with Musk’s smiling face superimposed over the girl and a Twitter logo on the burning house.
“Ugh, an end of an era,” lamented another, alongside the famous meme of the Twitter bird sipping coffee and exclaiming “this is fine” while its house is on fire.
One social media comedian riffed on the idea of “ex-Twitter employees pitching investors next week.” They then included a still of Don Draper from “Mad Men” with the one-liner “Literally just Twitter without Elon.”
Even Twitter boss Musk weighed in on the Twitastrophe Thursday night, joking: “How do you make a small fortune in social media? Start out with a large one.”
He also posted the infamous Grant Gustin meme of the “Flash” actor flashing the peace sign by a gravestone, but with the Twitter logo over the tomb.
“Help us Ligma Johnson, you’re our only hope,” the “Tesla Boss” quipped in a third tweet invoking Princess Leia’s immortal line from “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” He was referencing the pranksters Rahul Ligma and Daniel Johnson, who had gone viral earlier this month after posing as Twitter employees who were canned amid the mass layoffs.
Despite the chaos, Musk appeared optimistic about Twitter’s future.
In a prior Tweet, Musk claimed that Twitter “just hit another all-time high” in terms of usage. Musk’s takeover of the company has been marred with chaos as he tries to generate revenue at the financially struggling company.
One folly was the rollout — and subsequent revocation — of the Twitter Blue verification program, in which Twitter users were invited to pay $7.99 per month for a blue check icon next to their handles. The feature was shelved after Twitter users impersonated celebrities, brands and other high-profile figures.
Musk said on Wednesday that he plans to spend less time with the social media platform and intends to find a new leader to run the company as it undergoes a complete organizational overhaul.