CBS News is halting activity on Twitter over Elon Musk’s tumultuous and potentially devastating moves following his acquisition of the company.
“Given the uncertainty surrounding Twitter and as a precautionary measure, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site while it continues to monitor the platform,” CBS News national correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti said in a report on the latest chaos at the company on the CBS Evening News on Friday.
A statement with nearly identical wording was shared on Friday by the Twitter account of KPIX, the CBS-owned San Francisco station.
Currently, the latest post on @CBSNews is a retweet of a segment shared at 3:38 p.m. ET on Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of a special counsel to oversee the investigation into Donald Trump. Most on @CBSEveningNews last tweet is a story about a dog who “reported to the police after getting lost during a walk” that was published at 5 p.m. ET; @CBSMorning last posted at 3:30pm ETwhich links to an article about users speculating on “whether Twitter will live or die”.
CBS News’ decision to withdraw from Twitter comes just over three weeks into Musk’s ownership of the company — in that time, Twitter’s employee base has shrunk to about 33% of its former size. At least 1,200 Twitter employees reportedly resigned Thursday, refusing to agree to Musk’s demand that they work “long hours at high intensity.” This has raised concerns about Twitter’s ability to reliably and securely operate the service, with an estimated workforce of around 2,500 (up from 7,500 before Musk’s $44 billion acquisition).
Another looming question: whether Musk will allow Trump back on Twitter. The ex-president was fired from Twitter in early 2021 for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol aimed at undermining the 2020 US presidential election.
On Friday, Musk started a poll and asked his more than 116 million followers if Twitter should reinstate Trump. After nearly 6 million votes, 55.4% voted in favor of lifting Trump’s ban.
Musk also said that Twitter has taken down the account of comedian Kathy Griffin (after she was suspended for impersonating Musk), as well as that of right-wing figure Jordan Peterson and satirical website Babylon Bee (both of which were banned from Twitter for violating their ” Hateful Conduct Policy on Anti-Transgender Posts).
In the wake of the mass resignations on Twitter, Musk — the richest person in the world — called an emergency engineering meeting on Friday and urged “anyone who actually writes software” to report to the company’s San Francisco headquarters. The mega-billionaire also asked engineers to send him “what your code commands have achieved over the last ~6 months, along with up to 10 screenshots of the most noticeable lines of code.”