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

Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar says Twitter under Jack Dorsey refused to remove misinformation & fake news

NEW DELHI | Updated: 13 June, 2023 11:30 am IST
MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar says Jack Dorsey's "outright lies" aim to brush aside secret censorship & misuse of power by Twitter when Dorsey was at the helm.

NEW DELHI: Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has slammed former Twitter boss Jack Dorsey for falsely claiming that India pressured the platform to take down tweets critical of the Modi government during the 2021 farmers’ protest.

Responding to Dorsey’s assertion that Indian authorities threatened company officials with raids and arrests for non-compliance, Chandrasekhar, the minister of state for electronics and information, stated that Dorsey’s “outright lie” was “perhaps an attempt to brush aside that very dubious period of Twitter’s history.”

For those unaware, under the Dorsey regime, Twitter officials secretly limited the reach of certain accounts, took down tweets, and pursued a Leftist agenda while violating Indian laws.

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In an interview, Dorsey, who sold Twitter to Tesla’s Elon Musk for $44 billion last year, said, “India, for example, is a country that had many requests from us regarding the farmers’ protest, particularly journalists critical of the government.”

“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,” he added.

In response, minister Chandrasekhar stated that Twitter, under Dorsey’s leadership, repeatedly violated Indian law from 2020 to 2022 and only achieved compliance in June 2022.

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He clarified that no employees were raided or sent to jail, contrary to Dorsey’s assertion, emphasizing that the Indian government merely sought to ensure Twitter’s adherence to the country’s laws, asserting its right as a sovereign nation.

He also accused Twitter of refusing to remove misinformation on its platform, including highly controversial and false reports claiming genocide in India. The Indian government was compelled to remove such misinformation to prevent the escalation of tensions based on fake news.

Highlighting Twitter’s hypocrisy, Chandrasekhar pointed out that the social media giant was reluctant to remove misinformation in India while taking prompt action during similar events in the United States.

“Such was the level of partisan behavior on Twitter under Jack’s regime that they had a problem removing misinformation from the platform in India when they did it themselves when similar events took place in the USA,” the minister said.

Referring to the ‘Twitter Files’, the minister highlighted Twitter’s arbitrary, blatantly partisan conduct, and misuse of its power.

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“There is ample evidence now in the public domain about Jack’s Twitter’s arbitrary, blatantly partisan, and discriminatory conduct and misuse of its power on its platform during that period,” he said.

He further stated, “Twitter under Dorsey was not just violating Indian law but was also partisan in how it was using ‘deamplify’ and deplatforming some individuals arbitrarily, in violation of Article 14 and Article 19 of our Constitution, and also assisting in the weaponization of misinformation.”

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