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Twitter cuts more staff as Musk woes multiply

Reports of more layoffs at Twitter have landed as owner Elon Musk waded into a racism controversy that risked pushing advertisers further away from the struggling platform.

Musk called US media “racist” on Sunday after multiple American newspapers announced they would stop publishing a popular comic strip whose creator called Black people a hate group.

Musk, chief of electric car company Tesla and Twitter, made his comment in regard to backlash to a rant by Scott Adams, creator of the long-running “Dilbert” comic strip – a satirical take on office life.

Adams, like Musk, has increasingly stoked controversy with his views on social issues.

“For a ‘very’ long time, US media was racist against non-white people, now they’re racist against whites & Asians,” Musk wrote in a post on Twitter, where he has reinstated thousands of users banned for hate speech.

“Same thing happened with elite colleges & high schools in America. Maybe they can try not being racist.”

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‘Whirlwind tour’

“It ‘s as though Elon Musk is on a whirlwind tour to try to put Twitter out of business,” said independent tech analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group.

The controversy came as the New York Times reported that Twitter had laid off at least 200 employees, or 10 percent of its already decimated workforce.

The fresh round of layoffs included product managers, big data experts and engineers working on machine learning and platform reliability.

Twitter did not immediately confirm the reports when contacted by AFP news agency.

Esther Crawford, in charge of the social network’s product development, confirmed on Twitter that she was one of the employees let go.

“The worst take you could have from watching me go all-in on Twitter 2.0 is that my optimism or hard work was a mistake,” she wrote on Twitter.

Another senior employee, Martijn de Kuijper, tweeted on Saturday that it “looks like I’m let go” after he could no longer access his emails from a French Alps ski holiday.

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