‘Found in closet at Twitter HQ’: Elon Musk reveals stash of ‘STAY WOKE’ T-shirts – as civil rights activists threaten to shame advertisers after Trump’s account was reinstated
- Elon Musk posted a video of a ‘secret closet’ full of ‘stay woke’ t-shirts, as activist’s put pressure on advertiser’s to boycott the social media company
- The 12 second video posted by Musk late Tuesday night shows the billionaire businessman holding up a dark grey shirt with the ‘#staywoke’ on the front
- Twitter has seen racial slurs increase since Musk took the helm and controversial accounts reinstated such as former US President Donald Trump
- Activists have warned that if advertisers don’t boycott the platform unless their demands for a ‘safer’ site are met, they will expose them
- The ‘Stop Toxic Twitter’ site already has a list of a number of brands who have and haven’t cut ties with the social media platform
Elon Musk posted a video of a ‘secret closet’ at Twitter HQ full of ‘stay woke‘ t-shirts, as civil rights activist’s put pressure on advertiser’s to boycott the social media company after reinstating controversial accounts.
The 12-second video posted by Musk late Tuesday night shows the billionaire businessman making fun of the grey t-shirts, which have the woke slogan plastered on the front.
‘Here we are at the merch and there is an entire closet,’ Musk begins to say before someone off camera adds ‘secret closet’ before he proceeds.
‘Full of hashtag woke t-shirts,’ he finishes saying as the person off camera laughs.
Musk has been at the center of controversy since purchasing Twitter for $44billion and assuming leadership last month.
Twitter has seen racial slurs increase since Musk took the helm and the ban was lifted on former U.S. President Donald Trump’s twitter, along with the Twitter Blue fiasco that allowed anyone to be verified.
But Musk maintains that user numbers remain at an all time high, tweeting on Monday that the site had added 1.6M daily active users in the past week.
Elon Musk posted a video of a ‘secret closet’ full of ‘stay woke’ t-shirts, as activist’s put pressure on advertiser’s to boycott the social media company
Musk has been at the center of controversy since purchasing Twitter for $44billion and assuming leadership last month
Musk maintains that user numbers remain at an all time high, tweeting on Monday that the site had added 1.6M daily active users in the past week
Despite the optimistic numbers, alternative platforms have reported more signups since the takeover.
Hive Social saw reported more than one million sign ups in the last 30 days and sits at the top of Apple’s App Store’s social network apps chart.
Hive Social, launched in 2019, and is said to be the closest replica of Twitter, with its chronological feed, profiles and lead posts, while pulling inspiration from Instagram by emphasizing visuals.
Many Twitter users seek an alternative because they believe Musk’s platform will soon disappear from the internet due to mass firings, reinstatement of previously banned accounts and the Twitter Blue fiasco.
One of the likely reasons for Hive Social’s surge is that users believe ‘racism and bigotry will not fly’ on the platform, while Musk appears to allow it under his free speech guideline.
Hive posted on Twitter Monday that it does not tolerate bigotry and hate, and Donald Trump and Andrew Tate, a controversial YouTube star and kickboxer who was banned from Twitter in 2017 for spewing misogynistic views, are banned from their social media app.
The post notes that ‘white supremacists are also deleted, no warning.’
An investigation by the nonprofit U.K.-based Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) found the use of racist, homophobic, transphobic, and anti-Semitic slurs soared significantly after Musk took over Twitter on October 27.
Activists have warned that if advertisers don’t boycott the platform unless their demands for a ‘safer’ site are met, they will expose them
The ‘Stop Toxic Twitter’ site already has a list of a number of brands who have and haven’t cut ties with the social media platform and said Musk is not protecting its users
The Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California. Musk said in a tweet that has since been deleted that he would sleep in the office until the organization is ‘fixed’
The study revealed in Musk’s first week of running Twitter, the anti-Semitic slur ‘k***’, and racist terms ‘w**’ and ‘s***’ – appeared in 2,598, 1,256, and 935 retweets. That’s an increase of 23, 62, and 77 percent, respectively, compared to the average for 2022.
Meanwhile, a coalition of 60+ civil rights and civil society groups have been putting pressure on brands advertising on the social media platform to boycott.
The ‘Stop Toxic Twitter coalition’ took action after Twitter owner Elon Musk lifted the suspension of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account, which was banned after the January 6th U.S. Capitol attack.
On the group’s website, the group has called on all of Twitter’s top advertisers to ‘cease’ their affiliation if he ‘undermines brand safety and community standards.’
‘Musk must not roll back the basic moderation practices Twitter already has on the books and he must invest the resources necessary to enforce those rules,’ it reads.
‘This means that Musk should prioritize making the platform safer, focus on ushering in an era where the company has stronger policies to protect users against hate, harassment, and toxicity.
‘But he’s doing the exact opposite.’
Musk recently complained that pressure from the activists had already caused a ‘massive drop in revenue.’
Some 90 percent of Twitter’s revenue comes from ads sales.
The coalition has obtained a list of 100 advertisers by total spending this year and said that only 51 advertisers had paused spending.
Hive Social reported one million signups since Elon Musk purchased Twitter in October. The app is said to be the closest design to that of Twitter
Musk posted an image on Twitter last week with a handful of the around 2,500 employees that remain at the company
Musk has now hired Chris Riedy to be the new head of sales at Twitter. Riedy joined Twitter in 2012 as a senior manager in San Francisco and has been a vice president since January 2021
On the website a list of 32 prominent brands have been listed to show where each company stands.
Volkswagen, Audi and Balenciaga are among brands who have cut ties however, Coca Cola, Disney and Apple are among the others who haven’t.
Earlier, Musk said he would not make major decisions about the content or restoring banned accounts before setting up a council with diverse viewpoints.
However, accounts have started being reinstated before the official announcement of the creation or existence of such a council.
Neither Twitter nor Musk has announced the existence of such a council, the initial announcement of which appeared designed to calm concerns over the growing prevalence of misinformation and hate speech on the platform.
Musk’s address to employees came ahead of another round of staff layoffs on Sunday – this time focusing on culling employees that worked in the tech company’s sales department.
Since taking control of Twitter, Musk has now laid off around 50 percent of the original 7,500 employees and accepted resignations from 1,200 more.
When Musk gave Twitter employees an ultimatum last week in which they could either stay and subscribe to his ‘hardcore’ vision for the company or leave, many more in technical roles opted to leave than expected, Bloomberg reported.
A larger proportion of employees in sales and partnerships positions remained.
Musk says he will never allow conspiracy theorist Alex Jones back on Twitter. Jones has persistently claimed that the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was a hoax
Twitter has seen racial slurs increase since Musk took the helm and controversial accounts reinstated such as former US President Donald Trump
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene celebrated the reinstatement of her personal Twitter account on Monday, 10 months after she was ‘permanently suspended’ for COVID misinformation
On Friday, Musk asked leaders in those parts of the company to agree to fire more employees.
Robin Wheeler, who ran marketing and sales, was one manager who refused to do so. Maggie Suniewick, who ran partnerships, was another who refused – both lost their jobs as a result, Bloomberg reported.
It’s believed that billionaire Musk has now hired Chris Riedy to be the new head of sales at Twitter – however the CEO has not confirmed the move.
Riedy joined Twitter in 2012 as a senior manager in San Francisco and has been a vice president since January 2021.
Musk hosted a sales meeting with Riedy and sales staff on Sunday, workers have said.
Employees attending that meeting expected an announcement about job cuts but instead Musk talked about internal plans for the company and his decision to reinstate Donald Trump on Twitter.
The rumors of more Twitter layoffs come as political figures, who were once booted off the social media giant, celebrated their return under Musk’s leadership.
Republican firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene had her personal Twitter account reinstated on Monday, 10 months after being permanently banned for sharing COVID-19 misinformation.
Her account was suspended in January, apparently for repeated violations of the platform’s COVID misinformation policy.
It was reported at the time that she was banned because of a misleading graph that supposedly showed thousands of deaths related to COVID-19 immunizations and claims that vaccine problems were being ignored.
She celebrated by posting to the platform that she was the only congress member to have been attacked.
However, Musk made the sensational call to stop Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from returning to the platform – as he revealed he has ‘no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.’
Jones claimed for a decade that the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, in which 20 children and six staff members were gunned down, was a hoax.
Layoff message in full: Musk fires staff from the Twitter sales department over email
As shared earlier today, Twitter is conducting a workforce reduction to help improve the health of the company. These decisions are never easy and it is with regret that we write to inform you that your role at Twitter has been impacted.
Today is your last day working at the company, however, you will remain employed by Twitter and will receive compensation and benefits through your separation date of January 4, 2023.
During this time, you will be on a Non-Working Notice period and your access to Twitter systems will be deactivated. While you are not expected to work during the Non-Working Notice period, you are still required to comply with all company policies, including the Employee Playbook and Code of Conduct.
Within a week, you will receive details of your severance offer, financial resources extending beyond your Non-Working Notice period. At that time you will also receive a Separation Agreement and Release if Claims and other onboarding information, such as how to return your Twitter materials (computer, badge, etc.).
Attached in an FAQ which aims to address a number of questions you may have. If your questions are not answered in the FAQ, you can reach out via [email protected]
We remain grateful for all that you have done for Twitter throughout your tenure and wish you only the best in your next chapter.