Elon Musk fired 3 Twitter employees that criticized him on social media

Elon Musk fired 3 Twitter employees that criticized him on social media
David Odisho/Getty Images; Gotham/Getty Images
  • Several Twitter employees slammed Elon Musk on social media after he criticized the app.
  • Three of the engineers said they were fired within 24 hours of criticizing Musk.

Elon Musk quickly fired some Twitter employees that criticized him on social media.

Twitter employees took to social media to criticize Musk after the CEO apologized for the app "being super slow in many countries" on Monday.

In his tweet, Musk appeared to suggest that the app was poorly written — a comment that several current Twitter engineers were quick to address.

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"I have spent ~6yrs working on Twitter for Android and can say this is wrong," Eric Frohnhoefer, a software engineer at the company, said on Twitter. The tweet was later deleted.

Elon Musk fired 3 Twitter employees that criticized him on social media
Eric Frohnhoefer deleted a tweet criticizing Elon MuskTwitter

After the engineer appeared to question Musk's technical competence, Musk called the engineer out on Twitter.


"Twitter is super slow on Android," Musk responded. "What have you done to fix that?"

Frohnhoefer said Twitter has done a "bunch of work" to improve the app's performance on Android phones. He added that there is "plenty of room for improvements," but disputed Musk's diagnosis of the issue.

Musk later responded that Frohnhoefer had been "fired," but deleted the tweet a few hours later. The Daily Beast reported that Frohnhoefer was still active on the company's Slack for several hours after Musk had said he fired him. Later on Monday night, the engineer said on Twitter that he had been locked out of his work computer.

Frohnhoefer did not respond to a request for comment from Insider ahead of publication, but wasn't the only Twitter employee to take issue with Musk's criticism.

"You did not just layoff almost all of infra [Twitter's infrastructure team] and then make some sassy remark about how we do batching like did you bother to even learn how GraphQL works," Sasha Solomon, a software engineer, wrote on Twitter. "You don't get to shit on our infra if you don't know what the fuck it does while you're also scrambling to rehire folks you laid off."


Solomon worked on Twitter's Core API Platform team, according to her LinkedIn profile. On Monday night, she said she had also been fired for "shitposting."

Another engineer, Ben Leib, was also fired after calling out Musk. He retweeted the same post from Musk on Sunday, saying Musk "has no idea wtf he's talking about." Bloomberg reported that the engineer was fired the same day.

Last week, Musk laid off about 50% of Twitter's workforce. Since, the billionaire has attempted to bring some of the staffers back, Insider's Kali Hays reported.

Sam Pullara, a Twitter staff member that left the company in 2014, appeared to correct Musk on Twitter, saying the "real issue" is that Twitter undid "server side" rendering code he had written years prior. Now "you have to download tons of code to just see a single tweet," he said.

Musk said Pullara was "wrong." The billionaire added that he plans to turn off "'microservices' bloatware'" on Monday. Musk also said he plans to cut a Twitter feature that allows users to see what device was used to send a tweet.


"Less than 20% [of microservices] are actually needed for Twitter to work!" Musk said on Twitter.

Sheon Han, a software engineer at Twitter who said he works on some of the microservices, was quick to diss Musk's idea, saying he predicted a "massive outage in the next few days" as a result of Musk's plan to cut back on microservices.

"'Turn off 80% of all services today' reads less like an engineering decision by my new employer than an attack plan by hackers launching a DDoS attack," Han said in a tweet that was later deleted.

As of Tuesday morning, Han had not reported whether his tweets had impacted his employment.

Elon Musk fired 3 Twitter employees that criticized him on social media
Sheon Han deleted a tweet in response to Elon Musk.Twitter

Solomon, Han, and Pullara did not respond to a request for comment from Insider. A spokesperson from Twitter also did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.


In the past, Musk has said he welcomes criticism and called himself a free speech absolutist. But, the billionaire has been known to take issue with some public criticism in the past. Earlier this year, Musk scolded a Tesla driver who pointed out flaws in Tesla's Full Self-Driving beta software and later clarified he prefers to discuss critical feedback more privately.