Ex-Twitter boss’ claim proof of censorship on RaGa, Oppn: Congress

Congress says it will launch a campaign to highlight the Centre’s tactics to silence Opposition leaders

NEW DELHI | Updated: 13 June, 2023 4:26 pm IST
Congress spokesperson Supriya Srinate addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

NEW DELHI: Congress has said that former Twitter boss Jack Dorsey’s claim about censorship pressure in India underscores the deep-rooted fear within the BJP government and alleged that Rahul Gandhi has been a prime victim of the Centre’s pressure tactics to silence the opposition.

Addressing a press conference regarding Dorsey’s claim that Twitter was pressurized to censor farmers and journalists critical of the Modi government during the farmers’ protest, Congress spokesperson Supriya Srinate launched a direct attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a “coward.”

In an interview, the former Twitter CEO stated, “India, for example, is a country that had many requests from us regarding the farmers’ protest, particularly journalists critical of the government.”

ALSO READ: ‘Outright lie’: India slams ex-Twitter boss for farmer stir censorship claim

He added, “And it manifested in ways such as ‘we will shut Twitter down in India,’ which is a very large market for us. ‘We will raid the homes of your employees’, which they did. ‘We will shut down your offices if you don’t follow suit’. And this is India, a democratic country.”

The government has dismissed his claims, stating that they were made to deflect attention from the arbitrary shadow ban imposed by Twitter employees on certain voices during the Dorsey regime.

Reacting to his claims, Srinate said that Dorsey’s claims hold truth because Twitter offices were raided by central agencies on May 24 after the social media company flagged “fake news” tweeted by BJP leaders as “manipulated media.”

“This interview shows how democracy is being murdered in the murder of democracy. When farmers – who were braving the heat and rain – were being called anarchists, Pakistanis, Khalistanis, and terrorists, platforms like Twitter were told that if they show the farmers’ protest, they will be raided and their shops will be shut down,” she said.

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“It also proves that Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account was blocked in August 2021 at the behest of the government. For six months, the follower count of his account did not grow. But when The Wall Street Journal broke a story and a letter was written to Twitter, his followers started growing rapidly again,” Srinate said, referring to it as an incident of shadow ban.

She continued, “Fear runs deep in this government. They don’t want any platform or media organization to show the truth. Because if the truth comes out, their massive propaganda will come crashing down.”

Congress general secretary KC Venugopal, considered close to Rahul Gandhi, said that the entire government machinery was complicit in restricting the opposition voice.

“That is why they banned Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account. Where is the freedom of expression, freedom of the media? We will raise this issue not only in Parliament but also throughout the country,” he announced.


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