Some of Twitter’s previous and remaining staff members thought it wise to spar with new owner and CEO Elon Musk on the platform this week.
Needless to say, the results can only be classified as a “L” for the previous generation.
Short on common sense
At 11:00 a.m. on Nov. 13, Musk tweeted an apology to users over a noticeable slowdown occurring on the platform from time to time, which did not manifest before his acquisition, “Btw, I’d like to apologize for Twitter being super slow in many countries. App is doing >1000 poorly batched RPCs just to render a home timeline!”
All was well for about three hours, until, at 2:14 p.m. Eric Frohnhoefer, a self-described Android developer, who, at the time, described himself in his bio as employed at Twitter, decided to contradict Musk by stating, “I have spent ~6yrs working on Twitter for Android and can say this is wrong.”
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The outburst was accompanied by warnings from other users, notably from one pseudonymous software engineer who provided these words of wisdom at 5:14 p.m., “I have been a developer for 20 years. And I can tell you that as the domain expert here you should inform your boss privately…Trying to one up him in public while he is trying to learn and be helpful makes you look like a spiteful self serving dev.”
Musk replied, “Then please correct me. What is the right number?”
And followed up by asking, “Twitter is super slow on Android. What have you done to fix that?”
Frohnhoefer was evidently not interested in heading his peers’ concern, rebutting immediately, “Maybe he [Musk] should ask questions privately. Maybe using Slack or email.”
Unfortunately, Frohnhoefer decided to limit his account so that the details of the exchange cannot be viewed. However, screenshots captured and provided by various anon accounts show the man engaging in a lengthy monologue against Musk.
But the boss, naturally, got the last laugh at 9:02 a.m. on Nov. 14 when he simply replied to the thread with the sentence, “He’s fired.”
Frohnhoefer’s Twitter bio now describes himself as a “Android developer open to new opportunities. Formerly @twitter.”
A new fact checker is in town
In a second instance, a Twitter user criticized Musk on Nov. 14 citing a same day New York Times article which criticized Elon for eliminating the office’s free lunch program.
“He fired ¾ of the employees. Now he’s planning to starve the rest of them. He’s failure incarnate,” complained the account lacking its blue checkmark.
Musk replied, “Especially bizarre given that almost no one came to the office. Estimated cost per lunch served in past 12 months is >$400.”
The situation got hot when Tracy Hawkins, who according to LinkedIn was Vice President of Real Estate & Work Transformation at Twitter until this month, chimed in.
“This is a lie. I ran this program up until a week ago when I resigned because I didn’t want to work for @elonmusk,” Hawkins harkened.
“For breakfast & lunch we spent $20-$25 a day per person. This enabled employees to work thru lunchtime & mtgs. Attendance was anything from 20-50% in the offices.”
But Elon wasn’t having any of it, fulfilling his new role as Twitter fact checker admirably.
“False. Twitter spends $13M/year on food service for SF HQ. Badge in records show peak occupancy was 25%, average occupancy below 10%,” the CEO stated.
“There are more people preparing breakfast than eating breakfast. They don’t even bother serving dinner, because there is no one in the building,” he added.
In a third instance, this time not involving a current or former Twitter staffer, on Nov. 13, former T-Mobile CEO John Legere hit up Musk in a tweet asking for a job, “Hi @elonmusk, maybe I should run @twitter. You can stop managing daily business, and ‘content moderation’ and then support product/technology, let someone else ‘run’ @Twitter.”
Legere boasted, “I’m expensive but so is what you paid for twitter.”
And perhaps without sober second thought, the former executive gave Musk an unsolicited managerial tip in his application, “(p.s. please be leadership example of how to tweet)”
Musk flatly replied less than two hours later with “No.”
Legere perhaps illustrated that Elon made the right decision.
A troll account mocked, “You cant even run Tmobile,” complete with three clown face emojis.
But rather than ignore the enticement, Legere decided to feed the noise, “That’s funny … I ran it very well I believe until I had a successful succession to @MikeSievert after Sprint merger, and he has led @TMobile even better!”