CBS News is suspending its activity on Twitter due to Elon Musk’s turbulent and potentially destructive move following his takeover of the company.
“In light of the uncertainty surrounding Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is suspending its social media activity while continuing to monitor the platform,” CBS News national correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti said in a report on the company’s latest turmoil on “CBS Evening News” Friday.
A statement with nearly identical wording was shared Friday by the Twitter account of KPIX, the CBS-owned station in San Francisco.
Currently, the latest post on @CBSNews is one retweet of a segment shared at 3:38 PM ET on Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of a special counsel to oversee the investigation into Donald Trump. On @CBSEveningNews , mostly recent tweet is the story of a dog who “surrendered to police after getting lost during a walk,” which was posted at 5 p.m. ET; @CBSMornings last posted at 3:30 PM ETlinks to an article about users speculating about “whether Twitter will live or die.”
CBS News’ decision to withdraw from Twitter comes a little more than three weeks into Musk’s ownership of the company — during which time Twitter’s employee base has shrunk to about 33% of its previous size. At least 1,200 Twitter employees reportedly quit on Thursday, refusing to agree to Musk’s demands that they work “long, high-intensity hours.” That has raised concerns about Twitter’s ability to keep the service operating reliably and safely with the number of employees now estimated to be around 2,500 (down from 7,500 before Musk’s $44 billion purchase).
Another looming question: whether Musk will allow Trump back on Twitter. The former president was fired by Twitter in early 2021 for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol aimed at undermining the 2020 US presidential election.
On Friday, Musk launched a poll asking his more than 116 million followers whether Twitter should reinstate Trump. After almost 6 million votes, 55.4% were in favor of lifting the ban on Trump.
Musk also said that Twitter reinstated comedian Kathy Griffin’s account (after she was suspended for impersonating Musk) as well as the accounts of right-wing Jordan Peterson and satire site Babylon Bee (both of which had been banned by Twitter for violating its “hateful conduct” policy over anti-transgender posts).
After the mass layoffs on Twitter, Musk – the richest person in the world – called an emergency meeting of engineers on Friday, asking that “everyone who actually writes software” report to the company’s San Francisco headquarters. The mega-billionaire also asked engineers to send him “what your code commands have accomplished in the last ~6 months, along with up to 10 screenshots of the most prominent lines of code.”