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Richard Bruton has lunch with 50onRed

Wednesday, 8 June, 2016

The Irish politician Richard Bruton is the country’s Minister for Education and Skills. Previously, he was the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and it was in this capacity that he broke bread on 29 October 2014 with 50onRed — “great tech company based in Philadelphia keen to learn about Ireland,” he tweeted enthusiastically during (or after) his working lunch. But 50onRed kept the secret sauce well hidden from all.

Richard Bruton has lunch with scammers

“Tyler wasn’t the only one surprised to find out what 50onRed really did. I spoke to more than a dozen former employees of 50onRed and its affiliated companies for this story and most of them said they didn’t know that 50onRed injected ads when they joined the company. (Nearly all of them requested anonymity, fearing legal retribution from 50onRed.) There was a new-employee learning curve, Tyler said. One person realized what was going on while working on the browser extensions themselves, while another said he started digging when the company’s jargon just didn’t add up to him.”

That’s a snippet from “The Perks Are Great. Just Don’t Ask Us What We Do” by Juliana Reyes in Backchannel, the Medium.com in-house technology publication. Around the time of Minister Bruton’s working lunch, “something snapped,” writes Reyes. “Executives started leaving after just a few months. Rich Sayer, 50onRed’s COO whom former employees said ran the company, left quietly in August 2014. Seven more high-ranking employees followed suit, several of whom joined the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon.”

Food for thought.


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