Twitter Employees Call Elon Musk's Rocky All-Hands Meet 'Confusing' And 'Hilarious'

Mason Joseph Zimmer
Elon Musk in suit holding model of a rocket
Wikimedia Commons | NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

It seems the all-hands meeting Elon Musk held for Twitter employees in light of his acquisition of the platform could have gone better, according to the lion's share of the workers who were there.

For months, Musk has kept the tech world abuzz after suddenly announcing he would buy Twitter. But while he's shown hesitation in going through with the $44 billion purchase out of apparent concern for the prevalence of fake accounts on the platform, the decision has sparked anxieties among Twitter employees. They're wondering what changes he's going to make both to Twitter itself and to its corporate culture.

Although this all-hands meeting was supposed to address those concerns, the fact that morale during the proceedings could be described as mixed at best casts doubt on how effectively he was able to do that.

Judging by his previous statements, Twitter employees likely expected Musk to say that all workers would need to return to the office and that Twitter should no longer serve ads.

Elon Musk smiling in suit with no tie
Wikimedia Commons | Debbie Rowe, The Royal Society

According to Reuters, however, Musk seemed to walk back on the latter assertion, saying that advertising would be an important part of his expectation to see Twitter grow from 229 million users to at least a billion.

He also said that while he's standing by his belief that most employees should work in person, he added, "If somebody is exceptional, then remote work can be okay."

The all-hands took the form of an improvised question and answer session held virtually and moderated by a Twitter executive.

Elon Musk in suit holding model of a rocket
Wikimedia Commons | NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

And while the meeting didn't see Musk provide any updates on his Twitter deal, it was clear that employees could expect layoffs when he does take the reins.

As he put it, "Right now, the costs exceed the revenue. Anyone who's ... a significant contributor should have nothing to worry about."

He also said that Twitter should allow users to say "pretty outrageous things" and only intervene when their statements are illegal, which he saw as part of Twitter's potential to help "civilization and consciousness."

And while many employees thought his statements about his vision for the company were vague and not particularly useful, some told Insider that Musk also went on some "confusing" and "hilarious" tangents during the meeting.

alien in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull looking angry
youtube | Paramount Home Entertainment

Most notably, it seems workers were particularly bewildered by a digression that saw Musk share his views on extraterrestrial life, saying he hasn't seen any evidence of their existence.

Other employees described the meeting as rambling and incoherent. And they made their displeasure clear both in Slack discussions while it was going on and in comments on the livestream itself.

As one employee said, "There were a lot of negative live comments during the stream."

Some workers found Musk's address to be "motivational," but others only found their fears about his takeover confirmed by the meeting.

crowd in business attire looking sad and angry in The Wolf of Wall Street
youtube | Paramount Home Media Distribution

In the words of one of them, "He is demonstrating a dangerous lack of knowledge about technical, policy, and operational matters."

As for the concerns about Twitter bots that are holding up Musk's acquisition, Twitter has responded by agreeing to provide a "firehose" of data showing how they're measuring the prevalence of fake users.

This led some within the company to suspect that Musk will use that data to re-negotiate a better price for the company, but time will tell on that front.

h/t: Reuters, Insider