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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Musk's first email to Twitter staff ends remote work

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NEW YORK: Elon Musk in his first email to Twitter employees said remote work would no longer be allowed and that they would be expected in office for at least 40 hours per week, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.


Musk, who completed his $44 billion deal for the popular social media platform just two weeks ago, has laid off half its workforce and several top executives and announced a series of actions including charging $8 for the Twitter Blue subscription.


Musk also told employees that he wants to see subscriptions account for half of Twitter's revenue, the report said, citing the email.


When Twitter reopened offices in March, it had said employees could still work from home if they wanted.


Musk's move reflects policies at his other companies, SpaceX and Tesla Inc, where he told employees to work in the office at least 40 hours a week, or leave.


RISE IN FAKE ACCOUNTS


Numerous Twitter users have seized the moment to create fake celebrity accounts after the social media platform introduced a new verification system.


Previously, celebrities, politicians, journalists and other public figures were required to provide proof of identification before receiving the blue-tick verification badge. Under the new model, all customers who subscribe for $8 a month will be given verified accounts.


Musk has argued that authentication through payment services and the app platforms of Apple and Google was sufficient, so that Twitter could do without its own identity verification.


Musk also threatened to crack down on fake accounts and parody accounts, saying that anyone who operates a profile under another person's name and does not mark it as a parody is to be banned without warning.


Nevertheless, a number of fake accounts have sprung up since the roll-out of the new system despite the threat of being banned. One user pretending to be LeBron James, for example, tweeted on Wednesday that the basketball star was planning to leave the Los Angeles Lakers, causing a stir before the account @KINGJamez, differing only slightly from LeBron's official account name @KingJames, was eventually blocked.


Fake accounts were also created for celebrities and companies.


In what could be a promise towards more scrutiny, Musk tweeted late on Wednesday: "In days to come, we'll add granularity to verified badge, such as organisational affiliation and ID verification." -- Reuters/dpa


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