With Twitter’s Senior Policy Director Sinéad MsSweeney opting to jump rather than be pushed in the face of Musk’s radical streamlining of the company, the question must be asked how is the global corporate shakeup affecting the office politics on Fenian Street.
Bouncing around numerous advisory roles in the Gardaí and Department of Justice as well as PR Director for the PSNI, McSweeney earned the wrath of the Musk regime the past few months. Attaining a temporary High Court injunction on her dismissal over refusing to accept the terms of the now infamous ‘hardcore’ email set out as an ultimatum to Twitter employees, McSweeney found herself locked out of Twitter IT systems as a failure to get with the new programme and access to her George’s Quay office.
A mediator between the tech giant and Irish government, McSweeney rubbed shoulders with Twitter and RTÉ alumni Mark Little, currently the subject of much intrigue for dodgy looking contracts between the Department of Health and his anti-misinformation startup Kinzen.
With the rift in the company only widening with the document dumps from the previous regime involving the deplatforming of largely right-leaning personalities as well as explicit cooperation with intelligence agencies, perhaps it is high time to look under the hood at machinations within and around Twitter’s Dublin Euro HQ.
Existing symbiotically with the Irish state which has famously opened their fiscal arms with generous tax incentives, a variety of former state officials the past decade have ejected from public life and into the corporate world. Complementing them is a strata of liberal NGO activists who enshrined themselves within the Big Tech community in and around the time of the gay marriage referendum of 2014.
A key figure in this NGO to Big Tech pipeline is Council of State appointee and Uplift cofounder Ruairí McKiernan. A major bridge between the corporate world, the state and public philanthropy, Uplift has been an important cash cow in the ploughing of funding into a variety of left leaning causes as well as building the careers of numerous activists.
A regular Twitter user himself, McKiernan has been caught out on occasion bragging about his close connections with Twitter HQ, even going as far as to mention that personal details of right wing trolls could be procured by ‘colleagues in Twitter & Hacking Community”
Soon after deleting the tweet and half heartedly backtracking from the original tweet, his admission does beg the question of whether these relationships between a largely progressive Twitter executive and activists exist. It should be noted that McKiernan did not respond to attempts to contact him by The Burkean in order to clarify his remarks.
Word on the street points to a rather sudden culture change in Twitter Dublin from the halcyon days of when Little and McSweeney ran an apparently loose ship. As imperfect a playboy as he is, the Musk takeover has seriously clipped the wings of the ability of the company to covertly pass on personal information and correspondence to a selection of well placed activists though not preventing it entirely.
The true extent of the snooping at Twitter HQ in the 2010s may only be known in the coming decades but by any measure Musk’s arrival has made certain figures look over their shoulder in their working relations with Big Tech.