Pranksters posing as fired Twitter employees mislead the media

“A pair of pranksters posing as fired Twitter employees fooled multiple media outlets on Friday as the public eagerly awaited news on whether Elon Musk had begun laying off employees,” reports the New York Post:

CNBC’s Deirdre Bosa interviewed two people who identified themselves as Twitter employees and were seen near the company’s headquarters in San Francisco carrying cardboard boxes.

Skepticism immediately emerged on social media. One of the pranksters said his name was “Rahul Ligma” – a reference to a popular internet meme – and held up a copy of Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming” as he addressed reporters. The other said his name was “Daniel Johnson”.

CNBC, Bloomberg, the Daily Mail and NBC were among outlets reporting layoffs were in the works after the duo spoke to the media…”It’s happening,” CNBC’s Bosa tweeted. The whole team of data engineers let go. Those are two of them.”

“They are visibly shaken,” Bosa added. “Daniel tells us he owns a Tesla and he doesn’t know how he’s going to make the payments…”

Twitter employees have feared for months that Musk will carry out mass layoffs at the company once its $44 billion takeover is complete. Those fears intensified last week after the Washington Post reported that Musk planned to cut 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees. Musk immediately fired several executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal, but it’s still unclear how many employees will be fired. He denied the 75% figure was accurate in a meeting with Twitter employees earlier this week.

A source familiar with the situation told the Post that Twitter employees feel like they are “in limbo” with no one having a clear idea of ​​how many layoffs are to come. “People are keeping their heads down until they see what’s going on,” the source said. The source added that the remaining employees are afraid to speak to the media now that Musk has taken over the company. “People don’t want to get fired for leaking,” the source said.

You can still watch video footage of the pranksters’ interview on Reuters’ official YouTube stream (titled “LIVE: Outside Twitter’s San Francisco HQ after Elon Musk take over”)

The edge spotted the footage – then added that “Since we’re doing this, here are some other ridiculous things said by Ligma and his box-carrying associate.”
“It makes me worry about the future of our democracy…the future of celebrity guardianship. I mean, when Britney [Spears] past….”

“I even own a Tesla, man. I’m a big fan of clean energy, climate change, and even free speech.”

Elon Musk — who changed the title on his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit” — responded to the hubbub on Friday afternoon, tweeting, “Ligma Johnson had him come.”

Earlier today, Musk had tweeted “Let the good times roll” and “Comedy is now legal on Twitter.”

More seriously, Musk has also tweeted friday that Twitter “will form a content moderation board with widely diverse views. No major content or account reinstatement decisions will occur until this council meets.

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