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According to two sources familiar with the situation, dozens of employees have announced on the company’s internal Slack channels that they are leaving the platform, ahead of a deadline Musk has set for them to formally indicate whether they want to participate in “Twitter 2.0.” in construction – writes a Financial Times.

Many shared saluting emojis or blue hearts as a sign of camaraderie, said one source. Some Twitter users, meanwhile, expressed concern that the exits could wreak havoc on the site.

The ultimatum is part of Musk’s effort to transform Twitter’s historically lax organizational culture, modeled on the tough, long-hours system employed at Tesla and SpaceX, the other companies he runs. The billionaire told employees on Wednesday that they “will have to work extremely hard” and that the company will focus on engineering.

The layoffs added to concerns that the company was left with gaping holes in knowledge and capacity after Musk cut half of the company’s 7,500 employees following his $44 billion acquisition. Some users of the platform were upset that the changes could lead to the imminent collapse of Twitter.

I can’t stress enough how frozen everything is

said one of the employees.

Staff were told in an email that the offices were closed with immediate effect and would remain closed on Friday, and access to badges was suspended.

Several key executives have already left

A week ago, Musk faced a mini-exodus of top cybersecurity executives, including Yoel Roth. On Thursday, Ella Irwin, vice president of the healthcare products and services team, was appointed to replace Roth in an attempt to allay some of the concerns, two people familiar with the matter said.

Some employees tried to get Musk to extend the deadline for his “hard-line” ultimatum after Irwin’s appointment, while the situation was reassessed.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Musk sent an email to employees saying they could work remotely as long as they were high performers and had the blessing of their managers. Just last week, the owner ordered that all Twitter employees must be in the office at least 40 hours a week.

It feels like they are trying to convince people to stay

said an employee on Thursday.

However, others have been fired in recent days because they made calls to the billionaire entrepreneur or expressed their concerns in internal messages.

The authorities are also worried

The cuts and rapid changes have led to fears that misinformation and hate speech will proliferate on the platform, with Musk pausing subscriptions to Twitter’s flagship premium subscription service Blue after the “blue tick” feature was misused by politicians and brands such as Eli Lilly and Lockheed Martin impersonation profiles.

Musk also warned employees last week that bankruptcy is not out of the question. Meanwhile, it faces increased scrutiny from regulators around the world. A group of leading Democratic senators on Thursday urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Twitter amid concerns that Musk has “undermined the integrity and security of the platform.”

In a letter to committee chairwoman Lina Khan, the seven senators cited the severe layoffs and reports that the company has thinned out internal privacy reviews because of costs. Among the signatories were Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Edward Markey and Cory Booker.

European regulators and the Irish Data Protection Commission, Europe’s lead data protection watchdog, are also monitoring the company over similar concerns.

(Cover photo by David Odisho/Getty Images)