5 March 2024

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Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey claims Indian govt threatened to shut down Twitter

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has accused the Indian government of attempting to restrict some accounts that were critical of the government. During the farmer protests, jack Dorsey claimed he received demands, and there were even threats to shut down Twitter in India. Rajeev Chandasekhar, a Union Minister, has labelled the claim a “outright lie.”

Jack Dorsey interview

Jack Dorsey reacted to inquiries about possible pressure from other governments in an interview with the YouTube channel Breaking Points. He stated that the Indian government made many attempts to restrict journalistic accounts unfavourable of the government during the farmer demonstrations. The farmer protests occurred in India between 2020 and 2021, while Dorsey was the CEO of Twitter.

Jack Dorsey

According to Dorsey, the Indian authorities also threatened to shut down Twitter in the nation and raid the residences of its employees. “If you do not comply, we will close your offices… “We will raid your employees’ homes, which they did,” Dorsey was reported in the interview as threatening. “And this is India, a democratic country,” he went on to say. However, in 2021, Twitter offices were raided after the social media giant labelled one BJP spokesperson’s tweet as “manipulated media.”

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Indian government refutes Dorsey’s claims

In a tweet, Rajeev Chandasekhar, India’s Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, contradicted Dorsey’s assertions. According to Chandrashekhar, Dorsey and his team violated Indian law repeatedly and continuously from 2020 to 2022. In June 2022, the corporation finally complied with Indian laws. He went on to say that Dorsey’s Twitter was in conflict with Indian law.

The minister stated that the demands to restrict tweets were made to prevent the spread of misinformation on the network. During the protests, fake news circulated on Twitter, and the government felt “obligated to remove misinformation from the platform because it had the potential to further inflame the situation based on fake news.”

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

Dorsey is no longer the CEO of Twitter, after stepping down last year. Indian-origin Parag Agrawal took over the role. Elon Musk later purchased Twitter, following which he fired Agrawal and Dorsey stepped down from the company’s board of directors.