By Melanie Nathan, Nov 07, 2023, "The closure of X’s sole office on the continent of Africa blamed for the increased spread of misinformation and fake news as there were no more content curators to flag inappropriate content."
Just when you thought Elon Musks X - previously known as Twitter was worthy of any dignity - this smelly event happens: from a BBC Article by By Nkechi Ogbonna, BBC News, Lagos we learn: "Sacked Twitter staffers in Africa are threatening to sue the company for failing to pay out the redundancy money they say they were promised.
Most had only been in the job a matter of months when the social media platform, now known as X, told them they were fired last November. "It's difficult when it's the world's richest man owing you money and closure," one of the sacked workers tells the BBC.
The BBC has approached X for comment several times but was rebuffed with, among other things, a smiling poo emoji.
A more recent attempt received this response: "Busy now, please check back later."
The company has previously said that it had paid ex-employees in full.
Elon Musk, who took over the company last year, embarked on a massive global cull of employees, sacking more than 6,000 people. He had said he was losing more than $4m (£3.5m) a day.
The African contingent, who number fewer than 20, had only just moved into X's new office in Accra, Ghana, following about eight months of working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sacked staffers told the BBC their treatment by X had harmed their mental health and their family finances.
They said they were initially told that, although their contracts were being terminated, they would be paid to work for one more month. But they were immediately locked out of their emails and no further salary payments were made.
Since then, the staff said they have been involved in a frustrating year-long struggle with X for compensation.
"Every time we get close, they go silent for weeks on end with no explanation. It has been one year since they were all laid off, defeating the entire purpose of a redundancy package, which is meant to cushion employees against the adverse effects of being laid off," said Carla Olympio from Agency Seven Seven, the company providing legal representation to the staff.
In September, both parties agreed that all discussions and a settlement would need to be concluded by 5 October at the latest. But, said Agency Seven Seven, this was the latest of many deadlines X has ignored.
In July, the BBC reported that the Africa ex-employees alleged that X had "ghosted" them in the middle of the negotiations, leaving them without severance pay and other work benefits, such as health insurance, stocks and shares options and unpaid leave allowances. At the time, the BBC contacted X for a response, and that was when we received the smiling poo emoji in reply.
Mr Musk had earlier tweeted that email requests made to their press office would automatically be replied to with this emoji.
In a rare interview this April, he told the BBC that the social media giant now has 1,500 employees, down from the just under 8,000 who were employed at the time of his acquisition.
When the news of Mr Musk's radical staff cull became public, he tweeted that laid-off employees were given three months' severance pay. But the staff sacked from the Africa office say they did not receive this." The BBC article can be read in full here.
Semafor Africa notes: Former African staff members at social media company X (formerly Twitter) told the BBC they plan to take legal action against their former employer for allegedly failing to pay redundancy funds promised after they were laid off last November. The nearly 20 employees worked at the company for less than a year. They had just moved into X’s new office in Ghana’s capital, Accra, when their contracts were terminated. The closure of X’s sole office on the continent was also blamed for the increased spread of misinformation due to the lack of content curators to flag inappropriate content. The closure of X’s sole office on the continent was also blamed for increased spread of fake news as there were no more content curators to flag inappropriate content."
Given that Africa's continent serves the very birth and rearing of Musk, his treatment of Africans stinks of disdain and maybe even earns him the conjectured assertion: "RACIST BEHAVIOR." Perhaps that Poo Emoji is a fitting response for Musk as he now earns the POS Business Award of the year from African Human Rights Coalition.