tv Inside Story Al Jazeera November 7, 2022 10:30am-11:01am AST
we are argentines, and we used to crisis like we had now do, but i usually had lung cancer 3 years ago. he was a professional football player and had to change his life. miller and i will show that i had pain in my chieftain took ibuprofen. i went to the doctor and it was a spot they thought it was pneumonia. in the end i had cancer when i had surgery and woke up, i looked at my father and said advice survive this. we're going to the world cup. father and son have tickets to watch other countries, but not argentina. they say living this well come together is their biggest gift for our whole lives change. we have a new calendar which are his controls that happen every month and living. this has been a challenge on the economic side, on the personal side. we still don't have tickets to see argentina, but i'm hoping we will get them. oh, passion for food born and united. messy runs. hi here. fans traveling to qatar are leaving all the troubles behind with one thing in common,
their support for the team. they love that he said, well, i'll just see that when a site is ah, this is al jazeera, these, your top stories in italy, a rescue ship that docked in sicily on sunday has been ordered to leave the board of catania. the captain has refused to do so until all refugees and migrants have disembarked jamante for the ally gradually for it. we're seeing a witch hunt, jews know a lot about this. who lacks know a lot about this. but all to those who lived through this type of discrimination, know a lot about it. what are stuck in there? the migrants fault is to speak another language and to have a different skin color. my grants are at fault for being human. this is shameful, that even the u. s. is of us a day away from its crucial midterm elections. president joe biden and his
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ceremony of the un climate conference is happening in just a few hours in the egyptian city of shamble. shake on sunday delegates finalize the agenda for cult $27.00 and grieves include the issue of climate change. compensation for developing nations. have a busy 2 weeks ahead with report by the world meteorological organization finding that the last 8 years or the hottest on record. as the headlines coming up next inside story, across the u. s. millions of americans rely on conservative talk radio shows for the news and entertainment. these are all real issues for real people. the listening post tunes in and asks is talk, review divided america. there is no room or for how democracy work is really just acknowledging differences that, that are already there. if anything, conservative talk radio created, the republican party talked to over to hock special on that just either quitters.
new boss has fired half of its workforce. ellen musk has been making drastic changes since buying the social media platform for $44000000000.00. advertisers and users alike are now waiting to see what else is in store for twitter. this is inside stored. ah hello and welcome to the program. i'm hammer, jim, jim, you on mosque likes to make headlights and spinning $44000000000.00 to buy. one of the biggest social media platforms in the world is one way to achieve that. but the deal has been troubled from the start mosque tried to back out, but at the 11th hour, signed on the dotted line of earning a major court battle. no sooner had the inc dried on the deal than he set about firing half of twitters workforce by email after they were locked out of the
company's i t systems. some of those gone include staff with human rights and hate speech expertise. twitter had been moderating content, notably expelling former us president donald trump. some major advertisers now say they're withholding their business until they see what happens next. we have a lot to get to with our guests, but 1st this report from rob reynolds in san francisco. just one week after buying twitter, ellen musk gutted its workforce firing up to half of its 7500 employees at twitter headquarters in san francisco. there were no laid off workers filing out clutching boxes of their personal effects. all the firings were done by email. some employees tweeted in colorful language denouncing what they see as a callous and impersonal method of termination can take create a very tense environment at twitter and social media is really all about creativity
. employees have filed lawsuits against twitters new ownership saying the mass firing violates federal and state laws requiring 60 days advance notice and severance payments. musk fired all twitter senior executives last week. as soon as he bought the company for $44000000000.00, musk also says he wants to charge users a subscription fee to have their identities verified on the platform, which has outraged many users. must describes himself as a free speech, absolutist who and fears that twitter will relax. it's moderation under his management, allowing hate speech and misinformation to flourish. has led prominent advertisers, including general motors, pfizer, audi volkswagen, and others to suspend advertising on the platform. experts also expect elite users in politics, entertainment, and other fields will flee twitter in droves if it standards on hate speech or
misinformation are relaxed. major leaders and especially people within government can't be associated with that on, on any social media platform along that nature. and so they, they will be forced to leave the platform by whoever is, is managing them must tweeted on friday, the twitter has suffered a massive drop in revenue, which he blamed on unnamed activists pressuring ad ties. ers musk says he wants to take twitter into private ownership so that its shares would no longer be publicly traded, and it would no longer be subject to federal securities regulation. that's a complicated regulatory process that could take years to accomplish. and with all of the lawsuits already filed, it all means plenty of work for lawyers. even as thousands of twitter employees are now out of a job. rob reynolds al jazeera san francisco mosque has reassured investors. the
coming changes won't affect twitters user protection rules come to my resume and it is not a case and asian people on that with tax where to for vote. listen, he speech on, on where it is economy. so now i see with everyone's to be verified with what is funny is me people payment their pie as possible. and so the 1st month with the manner in which staff were fired,
has angered and upset former employees and their representatives. the only thing that i got officially from twitter was, is, and an email and that didn't really give any specific reason. so it sounds a bit strange to the fives for cause, but with no actual cause. so i'm still trying to find out where the actual reason is if it's a typical. busy standard practice, but people, the only way to find out would be not any phone call or any email from their employer or their boss. but just by seeing their fort worth, laptops automatically reduced and just go blank. that's the way people find out. this is in a highly unusual way to go about a layoff, particularly in silicon valley, often and silicon valley. a lot of the tech companies won't want to make these as
public and are much more afraid of negative p r. then in this situation, additionally, one of the things that if i were advising employees in the situation, i would be looking to who exactly is getting laid off. is that whistleblowers? is there any desperate effect on any particular demographics? ah, all right, let's go ahead and bring in our guests in bullet county, mayo and ireland adrian wexler, technology editor of the irish independent newspaper. in san francisco, kara brennan alamo, chief people officer at lattice a people, management software company and in kyoto, japan mark einstein, a digital media specialist with the i t. r corporation. a warm welcome to you all. and thanks so much for joining us today on inside story mark, let me start with you today. so it's being reported that in order to fund his $44000000000.00 acquisition of twitter, ellen musk loaded the company with $13000000000.00 in debt. and that,
that comes with more than a $1000000000.00 a year in interest payments. so how much pressure does that put twitter under right now? and at the end of the day, does that mean that you on mosque has bought twitter for far more than it's worth? well, i think that is literally the $44000000.00 question. i would say that it has been a question since twitters inception. if it really is able to monetize and, and does this really match the valuation that it's always had? i think that right now, we're kind of seeing a rude awakening for twitter. so i do expect a very, very drastic change in both their business model and their strategy going forward. cara, how chaotic and haphazard have the layoffs at twitter been thus far? how confusing and how difficult has that made things for those who have lost their jobs? you know, i was connecting with some folks that recently lost our job from twitter just
yesterday, and the word that they use is devastated. they felt not only that they were still hadn't many questions about and their future, their immediate future. there are a lot of questions that haven't been answered by the twitter team, but they are also feeling really upset about the loss of the twitter that they thought they knew. and then the new leadership has come in and they feel a true lack of respect for what has been built in the true uncertainty for, for the mission of twitter and the feature of the business that they hadn't put so much effort into so particularly in the san francisco bay area, we're feeling it, we're feeling it for these, these former tweets and adrian, when it comes to how chaotic and haphazard, these layoffs have been handled. we are hearing reports that some of those who were fired have actually been asked back already. what have you heard when it comes to
that? i've heard very similar things here in dublin, twitter employees, 500 people, and the word you use is correct. it's chaos. they've gotten rid of. most of the curation teams, they would be the teams responsible for creating legitimate information, alongside topics that have a high risk of, of misinformation. they've gotten rid of a lot of the machine learning ethics and teams affecting the algorithm as well as transparency and accounting accountability teams and even the trust and safety team, which is the one we all talk about and, and twitter says they've only caught 15 percent of that team, they're the front facing content moderators. there's a lot of evidence now that there's already chaos chaos going on on twitter. we know that in the 1st 24 hours after it almost took over use of the racial slurs term. the n word increase by 500 percent most himself tweeted and then deleted
a homophobic conspiracy theory a few days ago. so the company is in chaos, and there's a lot of fear about the kind of misinformation we'll see. an adrian let me follow up with you regarding that point that you were making about these fears about the potential spread of misinformation on the platform. there was an open letter that was sent by volker turkeys the you in high commissioner for human rights. and he said that reports that you must get laid off twitters entire human rights team. we're not an encouraging start. and he expressed apprehension about our digital public square and twitters role in it. he also warned against propagating hate speech and misinformation. and he highlighted the need to protect user privacy. how much concern is building right now regarding all of this? absolutely huge and in, as well as the teams that i mentioned that the company has caught, which are supposed to be the safeguards against misinformation which are supposed to, i suppose, you know, value. the main reason we all come to twitter in the big public news moments
because that's why twitter is twitter is also coating the infrastructure team, which means servers and cloud services. now we're coming up to mid term elections in the u. s. early voting has already started. there's a very real chance that the servers may now crash. this is inside of what insiders in twitter are telling me. so that all adds up to a very, very worrying climate. over the next few weeks, kara adrian was just talking about these reports that the infrastructure teams at twitter had been cut that some of the members of the rights teams had had been cut that had been laid off. let me ask you, aside from how much concern all of this is causing from your vantage point, could these lay offs have been handled differently and if so, how i mean from your vantage point, what steps should have been taken? there are a lot of examples even recently in silicon valley of layoffs that have been handled
really thoughtfully and compassionately. we saw jack dorsey tweet a level of personal responsibility for these. i think that's a start. this is about understanding that each one of these, what we're hearing is 3700 employees, has life, has a family potentially have friends that, that they're concerned about. and with just a little more planning, that's the unfortunate thing. just a little more planning and a little more thought less. i think this could have gone a lot better on some of the things that employ that employers have done as we have gone through a number of layoffs. it at bane or companies in silicon valley is they provided extended periods of severance. some have offered to for, to give out placement services. they've even turn their own recruiting teams into search firms for those exited employees to help them find new roles within silicon
valley. they've helped create alumni groups, which i understand are ex twitter employees are now self organizing into alumni group so they can share information because there's been such a lack of information. this is something that silicon valley that people understand unfortunately because we've gone through a lot of cycles within our business, right? we've, within our industry, we know what it's like when the tech is hit with a macro economic downturn. and often we pull together to help people have really softly endings and the leader of those of that input. empathetic approach is often the, the employers because we also know that there's often a time when things get better. and those folks want to be seen as the respectful employer so that they can get the very best talent. and a truly knowledge based economic situation that we have in the silicon valley.
we're one engineer, one trust and safety person can be a 10, ex multiple on your business. we have to treat people really well because we know we may want them in the next 2 years when things look a little bit better. i can tell you that it's definitely not that the conversation that's been around twitter and twitter leadership right now. mark, twitter has seen a massive drop in revenue these past few days, and there are some advertisers who have paused they're spending as, as a result of the concerns surrounding twitter right now. how concerned are advertisers and also how much is twitter dependent on ad revenue? i mean, well, yes, so twitter is basically completely dependent on ad revenue, and that's why eli mosque has announced new business models like potentially a subscription fee. and i think this is really the beginning of all sorts of other services that will be attempted to whether or not they pan out is, is another story. you know, however, i do want to point out that
a lot of the big names of advertisers who are leaving the platform happened to be automotive. companies like audi, volkswagen and g m. will. these are also competitors of tesla, and of course they wouldn't want their marketing campaign information to be in the hands of the company with no relationships with, with their competitor. so i think we need to be very clear about that on, but that being said, you know, the failure or the inability of, of twitter is a whole odd to get away from a purely ad based revenue. business model is the reason that they are losing $4000000.00 a day, and i think really ultimately why they are in this predicament. there's a lot of showmanship that that happens when, when even must does anything. but the underlying issue is, is there just losing money because they're just not diversified as a company market? or are we starting to get a clearer picture of what you on mosques, ultimate vision is for twitter and how ambitious that that vision may be. i'm you
talked about the need for, for reorganization restructuring and up and also, you know, how significantly has the platform changed already? well, i mean, as to what specifically is going on internally is, is not something i have direct knowledge of 5. and you know, i'm based in japan and when we look at the kind of web to datto giants in japan like rock with 10 or a cow in south korea or you know, the 80 in china on, you know, these super apps are, are very diversified and so for example, when, when coded hit on for example, right, sharing went down to 0, but to do every exploded. and so overall these companies weathered the storm fairly well. i think that you must ultimately has a grand vision to do something like this with twitter. again, but it's, it's really the execution that's going to be the big question mark as, as opposed to what the vision is. but yeah, definitely diversification into
a super ap is, is what i think he's thinking. and there's probably a crypto currency angle to that as well. adrian, you heard mark there, talk about super apps and how they have changed and developed in asian countries. i want to ask you a little bit right now about the use specifically. because under the european union, digital services act, large tech companies will be required to have robust content moderation systems to ensure they can quickly take down illegal material such as hate speech. so what is the policing of twitter going to look like going forward in the u? it's going to be much tougher. so twitter already got a fine here in dublin in ireland. it was a data privacy. finally, wasn't much money at all, but european authorities have been very, very active over the last year or 2 in finding big tech companies. instagram got a 400000000 euro find. google got a 4000000000 euro. i'm the you in general at, you know, takes the gloves off when it comes to big tech companies. patricky us big tech
companies. and you're right to point to the digital services. even though that won't be enacted until 2024 will come into effect rather until 2024. that has very significant provisions in it, particularly targeting things like misinformation hate speech and the fines there could be very significant up to 6 percent of annual turnover. now for twitter at the moment, that will be around 300000000 euro, but that's not money that twitter can afford. kara, eli mosque is already facing legal challenges as a result of these layoffs. from your perspective, do you think he's going to be facing even more and potentially, how might these play out going forward? i think there's always legal risk when you have any type of a reduction in force. i think they have exacerbated that risk in the choices they've made it twitter, though. i also think there has been some thought related to how they can protect
themselves in some of the structure of, of how they've approached these layoffs. they're saying that technically people are going to be paid through the beginning of june, i'm sorry, through the beginning of january. so those types of things help them, de facto accommodate the laws that we have in california and in north america related to look to layoffs. the thing that i'm actually much more concerned about is what they're going to do in order to execute the strategy that they have ahead of them. i. we have a saying here in silicon valley that culture each strategy for breakfast and fundamentally they've exited many of them. ploys that have built the culture of trust and safety, the culture of human rights focus in the organization. we know that they have dismantled, dismantled all of their employees, resource groups,
which includes groups that are focused on equal rights or racial quality. all those different elements that are tracked the right kind of thoughtful employees to your business. and those are the things to me that are equal risks with some of these legal potential legal challenges. lot is the company that i work for has done our own research. and we know that 23 percent of employees already are, are facing disengagement coming out of the pandemic. how do you get people engaged? who are sitting at twitter right now and asking them to face the challenges that even must as he's going to overcome. and kara, just very quickly, we are starting to run out of time of the layoffs that we've seen a twitter, and you're talking about the impact on what this is having on silicon valley. how much of a chill is, is sending to workers throughout the tech industry right now? it definitely is. we've had a slow drumbeat of layoffs to date that started happening at the beginning of summer. as many of you know,
tech is one of the earliest industries to be affected by some of these macroeconomic shifts. we started hearing of organizations that are frozen, hiring. we know that apple is said that they expect to not hire very much through 2023. and just we had lift, stripe, and others doing significant lay off. so this feels like a punch in the guides and to have the story played out on twitter and has so many people backed into these employees. yeah, it's been a tough time. adrian, a twitter wants to get as many users as possible to enhance its, its advertising value and revenues. of course, somebody like former president, donald trump brought it a huge volume of hips. do you think going forward that the lifetime bands for a folks like donald trump are going to be lifted by you on musk? do you think that will see trump return to twitter or, or others who got lifetime bands and, and how much concern is that raising?
i think the intention is to lift that band and from, from everything that he long must cosette, all of the signals that he has sent out. i think back comes with huge risk to him and to twitter for the reasons are just are blind under the european union's digital service act with europe essentially being that the regulator for at the world wide web. and but as to the kind of people we're going to see, who is going to be attracted, that's going to depend hugely on you measures like the $8.00 per month for your blue verified check. my problem with that is, if you somebody like me who has a blue check mark and who won't pay the $8.00. and if you've a lot of the 400000 of us who just won't pay, that means you fewer verified people on twitter. and the whole reason to come to twitter in a big news moment is for the authenticity of people who are tweeting out what they know. so that could be a big problem. and mark, we only have about a minute and
a half left a. let me ask you to follow up on what adrian was saying about this plan to charge people around $8.00 a month for this blue verified check on twitter going forward. when it comes to the controversy over or with charging people, there are those who are saying that this could in fact backfire for twitter. and that it could dis, incentivize prominent accounts from actually being verified. is this really a money making prospect for twitter, or do you think that this has the potential to, to, to cause you know, to, to be a big backfire? well, i mean again i, i think that if they are really losing $4000000.00 a day like you and mosque says, then something has to change and they are going to have to change their business model, you know, verifying people for, for, for money. you know, whether the $8.00 is for everybody, whether there are tier systems, whether people can be grandfathered in, i think is remain to be seen. but, but to me, the key messages that things do have to change from a financial perspective because twitter is not a non profit organization. so all right, that's my take. all right, well,
we have run out of time. we're going to have to leave the conversation there. thanks so much to all of our guests. mark einstein, kara brennan, alamo, and adrian reckless. and thank you for watching because see the program again. any time by visiting our website, al jazeera dot com and for further discussion, go to our facebook page at facebook dot com forward slash ha. inside story. you can also join the conversation on twitter. our handle is at ha, inside story from him. how much room in the whole team here in the hot bye, for now? all these turbulent times up front returns for new season. join me, mark them on hill as we take on the big issue. they are literally being turned back . how is this not a contravention of international law? this is exactly the place for us to interrogate people about issue that matter from the state of democracy around the world to the struggles faced by the under
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