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The outgoing Twitter employees are preparing a legal campaign against the world’s richest man

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For months, as the will-they-won’t-they dramatize between Elon Musk and Twitter persistedHelen-Sage Lee stuck to her belief that the social media company was a workplace worth fighting for.

“We all believed in the product so much that most of us decided to stay to see it,” Lee, who worked on the platform’s account safety team, said of the purchase and job insecurity it presented to employees. “And I felt comfortable doing that because of the separation HR and Law promised in May, and again in October.”

However, this assertion was misplaced, Lee now contends. With the help of Calabasas-based attorney Lisa Bloom, Lee sued in arbitration against Musk — the world’s richest man by some counts — for failing to follow through on the financial obligations that Twitter’s newest CEO now holds.

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It’s one of the many legal actions brewing in the wake of the billionaire’s chaotic and massive tech acquisition, Amid sectionwidespread shrinkageleaving many outgoing Twitter employees scrambling for money and employment and feeling shut out.

On November 3, just days later Buy it closed, Musk successfully quelled rumors of mass layoffs with a company-wide email saying job cuts were about to happen. That night, Lee watched anxiously as co-workers flooded the workplace online on Twitter with emoji greetings and blue hearts.

Then it was my turn to go. Her laptop shut down at 9 p.m., she said, and her company access was revoked: “This was when I felt really lonely.”

However, perhaps the strongest blow of all came a day later, when, on November 4, the company sent more details on what the layoffs would look like.

“We received information that the severance package we were expected to receive next week would be significantly less than what we were initially promised prior to the acquisition,” Lee told a press conference Monday morning hosted by Blum, her attorney. “The severance package was a constant in a turbulent time that we depended on, and many of us are willing to take legal action.”

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She added, “I’m here today because I want to keep Twitter accountable.”

musk claimed Repeatedly Those who have been laid off will receive severance pay for three months. But the terms of his deal buy Twitter obligate him To offer a severance package “no less favorable” than that promised by her former leadership, which is the basis for the arbitration claim that Lee and Bloom are now filing.

The pre-acquisition package offered at least two months of severance pay plus prorated performance bonuses, extended visa support, money for continued healthcare and cash value of shares that will vest within three months, according to laid-off employees as well as company documents reviewed by The Times. Times.

Internal emails indicate that those laid off are now stuck in a bind of “inactive” work, in which they remain nominally employed — and constantly paid — for a few months, but are not actually employed by the company. There was confusion among these employees as to whether the salary they were currently receiving was their severance pay or their normal pay. (It is not uncommon for companies to offer the equivalent of two months of severance pay in order to bypass the mandatory 60-day waiting period required amid widespread layoffs under the federal WARN Act.)

Twitter employees love it [Lee] They were told in writing by human resources or legal that after the acquisition they would receive the same severance benefits that Twitter employees had before the acquisition,” Bloom said. “That’s an enforceable promise” — a promise Musk has since broken, she added.

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They get paid until January 4th. [but] explained Bloom, who set her sights on the technology infractions .In the past. “The previously pledged chapter also entitles them to their pro rata bonuses and the vesting of their shares for up to three months after their last day. … This is what they are denied.”

Departing employees say the company has been unusually slow in providing information about how the payment process will work, and confusion reigns over what final package the company will give people. Employees on work visas or those who were on parental leave when they were laid off have more questions.

Two other laid-off employees, Amir Chefat and Adrian Trejo Nunez, also spoke at the Bloom conference. Both are pursuing their own arbitration claims against Musk. (Most Twitter employees waived their right to file a class action lawsuit when the company joined them, Bloom said, requiring individual arbitration claims to pursue.)

“The way Elon Musk implemented the layoffs was really inhumane,” said Schivat, who was the lead product for Twitter’s developer platform.

“I applied to help myself and my former users” — or Twitter employees — “to receive our compensation that was specified in the agreement, which has since changed,” added Nunez, who was a senior software engineer.

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Bloom said she has other clients, too, and is actively urging more laid-off Twitter employees to join her.

“My law firm represents a large group of workers and contractors on Twitter, and we will continue to file these cases, one by one, bombarding Twitter with allegations,” she said. “We’re hitting Twitter and Elon with every applicable claim, from mandatory shutdowns, to breach of contract, to breach of their implied agreement, to violation of the WARN law, to civil rights violations.”

Bloom isn’t the only one moving against Musk.

On Thursday, attorney Akiva Cohen I sent a message to a tech mogul threatening a legal campaign on behalf of his group of laid-off Twitter employees.

“If you have not confirmed unequivocally by Wednesday, December 7th, that you intend to provide our customers with the full severance Twitter promised them, we will initiate an arbitration campaign on their behalf,” Cohen wrote.

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As with Bloom’s clients, Cohen said he will pursue each complaint one by one, and added that Twitter will have to pay arbitration fees in accordance with California law.

“You will not only lose in terms of merits,” said the lawyer, “but even if you gain victory in some way it will be Pyrrhic.” “Twitter will pay significantly more attorneys’ fees and arbitration costs than it can ‘save’ in severance pay.”

In setting out his legal case, Cohen cited the same contract terms that Bloom relied on, noting that Musk was required to match severance packages prior to the acquisition, including employee bonuses and shares acquired. He also said some of his customers have reported that Twitter doesn’t provide them with 401k deductions and company matches, among other company benefits.

“I’m sure I don’t need to warn you that this is a bad idea,” Cohen said.

The attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how many clients he works with or whether Musk provided any response to the letter.

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Twitter, which no longer has an official communications team, could not be reached for comment.

Twitter’s mass layoffs have been coming for a long time.

Musk ended his control of Twitter on Oct. 28 after months of trying to undo a $44 billion takeover he initiated in April. But as early as June, he was referring to it Possibly layoffs prove necessary To lower Twitter’s costs and make the company profitable.

Even before the purchase is completed, it is he told investors In one report he planned to lay off 75% of the company (although he later denied this figure).

At the beginning of November, Musk was laid off nearly 50% from the company, with a promise of a three-month severance for those left.

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After the layoffs, Musk was almost immediately fired Lawsuit by former employees who allegedly violated federal and state labor laws.

With waves of managers and employees resigning or being fired for speaking out against Musk’s new regime, he issued an ultimatum: Commitment to the new “hardcore” Twitter 2.0 where employees are expected to work long hours, or leave with a three-month layoff. But after receiving thousands of employees Take the exitleft many wondering if the company would live up to its promises.

The rising tide of legal cases against Musk — at least with respect to several of his outgoing employees — suggests that the answer to that question has been a resounding no.

Times staff writer Jamie Ding contributed to this report.



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Screenshots made by an AI director from a fake movie rage Twitter

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Scofield soon realizes that he is not alone. A small cadre of movie-obsessed artists and artists have harnessed the power of generative AI tools to reimagine classic films – or create entirely new ones – from some of the world’s most iconic names. In December, creator Johnny Darrell went viral Jodorowsky You see, a reimagining of the classic film under the eyes of groundbreaking director Alejandro Jodorowski. Inspired by Darrell, Washington-based Rob Sheridan, former art director of Nine Inch Nails, used artificial intelligence to create Jodorowsky Fraser.

Sheridan, 42, calls this AI-powered movement “The New Unreal.” Practitioners include a painter based in New Zealand Create a western space on Instagram and a sculptor from Austin, Texas, Making fake sci-fi TV shows. Another content creator from India is using AI image generators to create his own rich font Sci-fi with a Southeast Asian flavor.

“We’re starting to see this technology as something like a dream engine, leveraging a kind of distorted visual awareness to explore things that never were, never will be, never could be,” Sheridan said. “They hit you in a weird way, because they feel like They are very reasonable.”

Scofield said he didn’t know why his Cronenberg business was catching fire so quickly. He’s posted several previous experiments on Imgur, Reddit, and Twitter, all of which only got between 50 and 100 likes. “The intention was not to create a clickbait site, but I think it turned into that,” he said. “A lot of people were reposting it and saying, This is terrible. This man does not understand Cronenberg at all.Each time they did, it spread further and incited another wave of criticism, which incited another, and another, and another.

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Schoefield said the text of his tweet — simply “David Cronenberg’s Galaxy of Flesh (1985)” — could give the false impression that he was trying to deceive Twitter. “There is no real intent behind this title yet, Oh yeah, looks like that could be it,” he said. “But he seemed to really impress people, and I think someone like Cronenberg might be famous enough to have a fanbase.

He continued, “There are a lot of people who have opinions about what Cronenberg’s aesthetics are and what they are not, and what a bad interpretation of his style is.” He fears that people will think he is trying to reduce Cronenberg’s work to mere physical horror.

The frames themselves were created by giving Midjourney a “DVD screen” prompt of various scenes from the film The empire strikes. Then it was like: Everything is made of skin, joints, tendons, nerves, umbilical cords, stomach, and arteriesSchofield added.

Getting a photo creator to make blood was hard — like getting Cronenberg style. “You can’t even write ‘Cronenberg’ in Midjourney,” Scofield said. (Sheridan thinks it’s because of him: He made a series of Cronenberg-inspired photos for the Met Gala in May, and Soon after, the term “Cronenberg” was banned from the tool.)



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We used AI to write articles about CNET writing with AI

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Technology news site CNET discovered that he uses artificial intelligence (AI) to write articles about personal finance without any prior advertising or explanation. The articles, which numbered 73, covered topics such as What is Zelle and how does it work?“And it has a small disclaimer at the bottom of every read” This article was created using automation technology and has been carefully edited and fact-checked by an editor on our editorial team. The subheadings in these articles read “CNET Money Staff” generated by artificial intelligence.

The use of AI to write these articles was first revealed by a Twitter user, and further investigation revealed that the articles had been created using AI since November 2022. The extent and form of AI currently used by CNET is not known as the company did not respond to questions about their use for artificial intelligence.

The use of AI in journalism raises questions about the transparency and ethics of this practice as well as the potential impact on the veracity and accuracy of news. In addition, it also raises concerns about the implications it may have on SEO and Google searches. The lack of response from CNET regarding their use of AI in writing articles has heightened concerns and sparked a broader discussion about the future of journalism and AI’s role in it.

Note: This entire article was written by ChatGPT and reviewed by a human editor. (In fact, we had to rewrite the prompt several times to get it to stop throwing real-world errors. Also, CNET did not respond to a human journalist’s request for comment.)

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Elon Musk has officially lost more private money than anyone else in history

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Bill Buckner. Justin Guarini. Everyone who “ran” against Vladimir Putin. Now Elon Musk has joined the ranks of the biggest losers in history. the Awarded by the Guinness Book of World Records CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter, a record-breaking loss of personal wealth. Forbes has estimated that in the past year or so, Musk’s wealth has declined by $182 billion.

In November 2021, Musk’s wealth peaked at nearly $320 billion, making him the richest man in the world. Most of that, however, was Tesla stock, which has plummeted in value through 2022. His October 2022 purchase of Twitter for $44 billion — which he financed with some of his Tesla stock — also caused a huge buzz in his bottom line.

In December, Musk’s losses stripped off His top of Forbes existingAnd the title of the richest person in the world went to Bernard Arnault from the LVMH Group, which owns such luxury brands as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Sephora. Forbes noted That many other billionaires will take big losses in 2022, when technology stocks will be hit hard. Jeff Bezos lost $85 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg saw $77 billion of his wealth disappear.

The previous world record for largest loss of personal wealth was held by Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank, who lost more than $59 billion during the dot-com crash of 2000. Today, Son is ranked 67th on Forbes’ list of billionaires.

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