Twitter Notifications Breaking in Wake of Elon Musk’s Mass Layoffs
Have you gone to your notifications tab on Twitter, only to see nothing there? You’re not alone. Users have increasingly reported broken notifications in recent days. And while Twitter didn’t respond to questions about why, it’s hard not to see a possible correlation with the mass layoffs of software engineers instigated by new owner Elon Musk, who took over the social media company in late October.
Gizmodo has experienced Twitter notifications breaking at least three times over the past week, with the most recent outage happening Monday night. Bringing up the notifications tab, which shows other users responding to your tweets, brings up a rooster graphic on mobile or just a blank page with “nothing to see here” displayed on the web.
Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of Twitter, even posted a screenshot on Monday showing his completely empty notifications. Stone, who has over 2.6 million followers, sarcastically tweeted, “Can’t wait for someone to mention me!”
Twitter Spaces, a feature where users can host audio chats, has also been having problems over the past week, with one user getting Musk’s attention on the problem. But the entire Twitter Spaces team was reportedly fired during one of Musk’s recent purges.
It’s unclear if the glitches are a direct result of Twitter firing thousands of people in a number of diverse roles, including everything from engineering to sales. While anecdotally there are people on the platform who claim the number of child exploitation images is down since Musk took over, it’s hard to imagine that’s true when Musk has absolutely gutted the child safety team. In fact, the child safety team for all of Asia, based in Singapore, has just one full time employee right now, according to Wired UK. That means just one person is looking out for child exploitation material that may originate in Japan, with 59 million Twitter users, the company’s second largest market after the U.S.
Musk’s takeover of Twitter was mired in controversy from the start, with the billionaire trying to back out of the $44 billion deal at one point. But Musk was ultimately forced to buy the company and has instituted changes that have alienated advertisers and been friendly to far-right extremists. Even Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer, has been welcomed back on the platform. Meanwhile, high-profile left-leaning accounts like the anarchist collective CrimethInc, are getting purged.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment late Monday. Gizmodo will update this article if we hear back. But given the fact that Twitter reportedly fired its entire communications team, we’re not going to hold our breath.