Twitter’s top global policy official leaves as layoffs continue

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Twitter’s corporate headquarters building is seen in downtown San Francisco, California, U.S. November 21, 2022. REUTERS / Carlos Barria

By Fanny Potkin and Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Twitter Company (NYSE:)’s public policy chief left the company amid further layoffs on Thursday, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, as billionaire owner Elon Musk continues continue to cut costs.

Sinead McSweeney, global vice president for public policy, has left Twitter, according to two sources. McSweeney’s departure has not been previously announced.

The dismissal and departure of a senior leader comes as regulators globally question Twitter’s job of content moderation and user data protection after Musk cut staff. from more than 7,000 to less than 2,000.

The public policy team is responsible for interacting with legislators and civil society on issues including free speech, privacy, and online safety.

It handles requests from governments and civil rights groups to remove problematic content and sets rules to protect vulnerable users. With fewer employees, the backlog could grow and some policies under development could be bypassed, one of the sources said.

Nick Pickles, senior director of global public policy strategy, has taken over the role of McSweeney, two sources said.

McSweeney, Pickles, Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Last month, European Union Commissioner Thierry Breton told Musk that the platform faces “tremendous work ahead” to comply with European regulations on content moderation, removal of misinformation and Restrict targeted advertising.

The EU will conduct a “stress test” at Twitter’s headquarters early next year to assess compliance.

A senior German official said on Thursday that the EU should directly monitor Twitter because its erratic behavior under Musk poses a threat to freedom of expression.

A source told Reuters that half of the remaining 30 members of Twitter’s public policy team were cut on Wednesday, implying 15 were fired.

The layoffs were first reported by Info.

Media reports this week said McSweeney, who is based in Dublin, settled with Twitter after winning a temporary court order to stop the company from firing her after she failed to respond to a full email company from Musk requires employees to agree to “rigorousness”. “culture or leave.

Musk said on Wednesday that Twitter is facing “negative $3 billion in cash flow” next year, and that’s why he’s moved to drastically cut costs.

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