Reports of Twitter’s death turned out to be an exaggeration, as Elon Musk’s floundering social media site survived to see the morning. Yet on Thursday evening, it increasingly appeared that the end was nigh. Reports from inside the company suggested that the site would soon be unable to function, and folks immediately started mourning—weeping and gnashing of teeth and posting of memes.
Here’s how it all went down on the corporate side, per CNN: Musk sent out an ultimatum to Twitter employees that sounded like a song from School Of Rock, prompting another mass exodus of staffers (reportedly in the hundreds) who did not want to live “extremely hardcore.” Following that, Musk apparently locked the remaining employees out of the building and restricted badge access (while taunting messages were projected onto Twitter HQ). Sources for The Verge claimed that critical teams were lost in the exodus, while another insider told Newsweek reporter Travis Akers that the site “has about a week left before it’s dead.”
There was, and is, no concrete data as to when or how Twitter will stop working, but the mood was apocalyptic enough that users began to say their goodbyes. “RIP Twitter” and “Goodbye Twitter” were among the trending topics as people decided to share the posts from their draft folders and others decided to get in one last hot take before the end. But if you’re at all familiar with Twitter’s ethos, it won’t surprise you that many users reacted by getting as many jokes off as possible.
Ever desperate to be seen as a cool, funny guy, wannabe meme lord Elon Musk was also tweeting “Twitter is dead” memes. This comes after he bragged about an “all-time high in Twitter usage,” implying he was making (or going to make) a “small fortune” from the site, and commented on the employee exodus that “The best people are staying, so I’m not super worried.”
Whether or not any of that is true remains to be seen, but it is true that Twitter lives to post another day. As some pointed out, the fears of an overnight shutdown somewhat recalled the Y2K panic. But then, as now, concerns of collapse came from a real place. So while Twitter lovers may have woken up relieved, the platform definitely isn’t out of the woods yet.