Elon Musk Fires Twitter Employees That Criticized Him Online

Twitter's continuing meltdown may have accelerated slightly thanks to its new owner, Elon Musk, who has been firing the very engineers that might help correct Twitter's failing infrastructure.

Musk tweeted an apology on November 13 for Twitter "being super slow in many countries," and blamed the app for doing over "1000 poorly batched RPCs just to render a home timeline." These very public technical criticisms caused several Twitter engineers to stand up to their new boss to basically accuse him of knowing absolutely nothing about how Twitter works.

First was Eric Frohnhoefer, an Android developer that offered Musk a very technical response. "Agree, there is plenty of room for performance improvements on Android. However, I don’t think the number of requests is the primary issue," Frohnhoefer wrote. "I think there are three reasons the app is slow. First it’s bloated with features that get little usage. Second, we have accumulated years of tech debt as we have traded velocity and features over perf. Third, we spend a lot of time waiting for network responses."

Frohnhoefer then suggested Twitter consider some "big rewrites" of its code, which is now over 10 years old, and also to "aggressively" cut features–many of those entirely new features from the mind of Musk himself.

When one Twitter user suggested that Frohnhoefer provide this feedback privately, he responded by saying public criticism from Musk will be met with public feedback. And then Musk fired him with a single tweet.

Like many who fell under Twitter's recent mass layoffs, Frohnhoefer was never informed of his termination outside of Twitter. He simply lost access to his work accounts.

Another engineer, Sasha Solomon, also publicly responded to Musk's criticism by noting that firing half of Twitter's workforce probably did nothing to help with its loading speed on Android. She was likewise fired for the remark, but was far less apologetic to Musk:

"I said it before and I'll say it again," she wrote, "kiss my ass elon 💋"

Musk has also been accused of using his power as Twitter's new owner to unblock his account from various blocked Twitter users as well as label websites that are critical of his actions "harmful."

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