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Former Twitter employee says working for Elon Musk was the ‘hardest experience of her life’

Callum Jones

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| Last updated 

Former Twitter employee says working for Elon Musk was the ‘hardest experience of her life’

Featured Image Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Since Elon Musk completed his takeover of Twitter last October, the controversial businessman has brought in a slew of changes, some more divisive than others.

In just a year, Twitter has seen a mass exodus of staff walk out the doors, while Musk has even rebranded the popular social media platform to X.

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Included in some of the staff to leave the company were a lot of previous senior figures at Twitter, including the company's former head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin.

When Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Yoel Roth, the former head of trust and safety immediately stepped down.

In November 2022, Irwin filled that vacant role, before leaving just seven months later as Musk publicly criticized moderation taken at Twitter surrounding the issue of 'misgendering'.

One amendment that caused a lot of controversy was the removal of certain language from policies prohibiting 'misgendering'.

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This subsequently led to Irwin stepping down from her position in June as she said it became clear 'there was no longer alignment' between her 'non-negotiable principles' and Musk's company.

Twitter's former head of trust and safety Ella Irwin left in June. Credit: Linkedin
Twitter's former head of trust and safety Ella Irwin left in June. Credit: Linkedin

Now, fourth months later, Irwin has broken her silence, revealing all on what it was like to work for Musk in an interview with NBC News.

Unsurprisingly, Irwin was rather critical of her former boss, slamming Musk for making a series of 'terrible decisions' that have made Twitter worse.

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"It absolutely was the hardest experience that I've gone through in my career," the former employee said.

During her time at Twitter, Irwin claims Musk was best at "questioning everything, boiling things down to first principles, removing constraints" - though everything was driven by emotion.

"There's more emotion behind his decisions than I would have maybe expected before I met him," Irwin continued.

"I think that contributes to some of the impulsivenes."

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Elon Musk completed his takeover of Twitter last year. Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images
Elon Musk completed his takeover of Twitter last year. Credit: Chesnot/Getty Images

Reflecting on her short stint at Twitter and some of the decisions made by Musk over the past 12 months, Irwin said: "'I think there were a lot of situations in which I would have handled things very differently.

"There were things that I wouldn't have tweeted in the middle of the night, [and] there were certainly things that could have been stated better."

Irwin recalls Musk coming into the company with 'startup energy', though she claims that quickly dwindled after he fell into the trap of mass layoffs just weeks into his tenure.

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The final straw for Irwin which led to her resigning was when Musk allegedly began floating the idea to eliminate the ability to block videos on X, something that was eventually pulled in August.

Topics: News, Twitter, Elon Musk, Social Media

Callum Jones
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