CBS News suspends use of Twitter due to Musk takeover

As Twitter is facing massive layoffs and resignations, CBS News and local-owned CBS stations, have paused their use of Twitter.

  Twitter app logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022 (photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)
Twitter app logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022
(photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)

CBS News has halted its activity on Twitter in light of Elon Musk's turbulent and unpredictable takeover of the social media platform, the broadcasting company announced over the weekend.

CBS News national reporter Jonathan Vigliotti broke the news of the company's decision on Friday evening, saying that "in light  of the uncertainty around Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing its activity on the social media site as it continues to monitor the platform."

The last update posted on the CBS Twitter account is a retweet of a segment shared earlier in the day on Friday about ongoing investigations into former US president Donald Trump. On the CBS Evening News account, the most recent update posted is a lighthearted story about a dog who "turned herself in to police after getting lost during a walk."

At the same time, The CBS-owned KPIX television studio in San Fransisco tweeted a similar statement on their own Twitter account, saying that "CBS News Bay Area is pausing its activity on the social media site."

Musk's blue check mishaps 

Twitter has had a bumpy ride since Musk took charge last month. The world's richest man halted plans to charge $8 for the sought-after blue check mark as fake accounts mushroomed, while bringing back the "official" badge for some users just days after he "killed" it.

 Elon Musk Twitter account verification badge is seen in this illustration taken November 4, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION) Elon Musk Twitter account verification badge is seen in this illustration taken November 4, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)

The coveted blue check mark was previously reserved for verified accounts of politicians, famous personalities, journalists and other public figures. But a subscription option, open to anyone prepared to pay, was rolled out earlier this week to help Twitter grow revenue as Musk fights to retain advertisers.

However, almost immediately after the new system was introduced, fake accounts began to crop up, with the blue check mark next to their names making them indistinguishable from the accounts they were impersonating.

The most notable of the impersonations came when an account parodying pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly tweeted: We are excited to announce that insulin is free now."

The tweet remained online for hours, and as a result, the company's stock fell by 4.45%. 

After tweeting an apology for the "misleading message," Ely Lilly suspended all advertising on the platform, a move which could cost them millions according to the Washington Post.

Twitter employees quit in droves

Hundreds of Twitter Inc employees are estimated to have decided to quit the beleaguered social media company following a Thursday deadline from Musk that staffers sign up for "long hours at high intensity," or leave.

The departures highlight the reluctance of some of Twitter's 3,000 or so employees to remain at a company where Musk earlier fired half of the workforce including top management, and is ruthlessly changing the culture to emphasize long hours and an intense pace.

Musk took to Twitter late on Thursday and said that he was not worried about resignations as "the best people are staying."

The billionaire owner also added: "We just hit another all time high in Twitter usage...," without elaborating.

Musk met some top employees on Thursday to try to convince them to stay, said one current employee and a recently departed employee who is in touch with Twitter colleagues.

The company also notified employees that it will close its offices and cut badge access until Monday, according to two sources. Security officers began kicking some employees out of one office on Thursday evening, one source said.

Over 110 Twitter employees across at least four continents had announced their decision to leave in public Twitter posts reviewed by Reuters, though each resignation could not be independently verified. About 15 employees, many in ad sales, posted their intention to stay at the company.