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“Yeah, they’re gone”: Musk confirms cuts to X’s election integrity team

Illustration of Elon Musk and the X logo that has been used since Musk renamed Twitter as X.

Getty Images | NurPhoto

The Elon Musk-owned social network formerly named Twitter has reportedly cut half of its election integrity team just weeks after saying it would expand the group.

Now operating under the name X, Musk’s firm “is cutting around half of the global team devoted to limiting disinformation and election fraud on the platform, including the head of the group, according to three people familiar with the situation,” The Information reported yesterday, adding:

X management notified employees of the layoffs last Friday. The cuts hit all four Dublin-based members of the team, including Aaron Rodericks, its leader, who is based in Ireland, the people familiar with the matter said. X executives told the team that having elections integrity employees based in Europe wasn’t necessary, according to one of the people. The team, which was instrumental in handling coordinated spam and bot networks, had around two dozen members before Musk bought Twitter last year and is now down to less than half a dozen based primarily in North America.

NBC News later reported that it also confirmed the cuts with a source.

Musk: “Yeah, they’re gone”

Musk confirmed the cuts in a post on, the website where you can access the X platform. “Oh you mean the ‘Election Integrity’ Team that was undermining election integrity? Yeah, they’re gone,” he wrote.

The staff cuts apparently relate to a dispute between Rodericks and Musk. Rodericks went to court to halt a disciplinary process at X, claiming “that he is being subjected to a process that is ‘a complete sham’ over allegations that he ‘demonstrated hostility’ to the company for allegedly liking tweets by third parties that are critical of X, Mr. Musk and the firm’s CEO Linda Yaccarino,” Irish public broadcaster RTE reported last week.

As recently as August 1, the now-removed Rodericks wrote that X would be staffing up its “Threat Disruption” group. “I’ll have new roles coming out in the weeks ahead, all related to investigations, elections, and engineering to build out solutions to support those!” he wrote.

That post apparently triggered the dispute with Musk. RTE reported:

In his action Mr. Rodericks claims the disciplinary process arose after he had posted about job vacancies at the company on his personal X account. In response he said he received “a barrage of threatening, and abusive messages” from persons who wrongly believed the posts were an attempt by X to censor free speech and influence election outcomes.

In one case, Rodericks reportedly liked an X post that called Musk a “fucking dipshit.”

Musk eliminated about 80 percent of the social network’s overall staff after buying Twitter in October 2022. But on August 29, X said it was “expanding our safety and elections teams to focus on combating manipulation, surfacing inauthentic accounts and closely monitoring the platform for emerging threats.”

Yaccarino reiterated the plan to expand election staff in an interview with the Financial Times published yesterday. Using nearly identical language as last month’s announcement, she said X is “expanding the safety and election teams all around the world to focus on combating things like manipulation, surfacing of inauthentic accounts and closely monitoring the platform for any emerging threats.”

Yaccarino made a similar statement in an on-stage interview at the Code Conference yesterday. She didn’t dispute that some members of the election team were axed but said, “It’s an issue we take very seriously. And contrary to the comments that were made, there is a robust and growing team at X that is wrapping their arms around election integrity,” according to The Verge.

No job openings listed

X’s jobs website, which is at, doesn’t list any openings. It simply displays an email address, X also has no jobs listed on LinkedIn.

Earlier this week, a European Union study found that disinformation is more prevalent on X than on Facebook and other social networks. EU regulators have reportedly urged Musk to hire more moderators and fact-checkers and is enforcing new requirements on content moderation and disinformation under the new Digital Services Act.

Many advertisers have left X due to concerns about content moderation. Musk wrote in early September that the company’s “US advertising revenue is still down 60 percent.”

Yaccarino said at the conference yesterday that “90 percent of the top 100 advertisers have returned to the platform in the last 12 weeks alone,” and that X is on track to make a profit in early 2024, according to TechCrunch. She also reportedly said that 1,500 advertisers have returned overall.

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