Thursday, February 22, 2024

Modi govt threatened to shut down Twitter, says ex-CEO Jack Dorsey, govt denies

Twitter’s co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey has said that the platform was threatened with “a shut down” by Indian government and conducting raids at its employees’ homes in the country.

He has reiterated that the Twitter received “many requests” from the Narendra Modi government to block accounts covering farmers’ protests and those critical of the government.

He was speaking to YouTube channel Breaking Points late Monday night.

Dorsey said, “India is a country that had many request of us around the farmers protest, around particular journalists that were 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.”

During the historic farmers’ protest in 2021, the Union government had asked Twitter to take down nearly 1,200 accounts. Before that, the Hindu nationalist government had asked the platform to take down more than 250 accounts.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar reacting to Dorsey’s claims, said that no one from Twitter went to jail nor was the platform “shutdown” despite the fact that they were in “non-compliance with law repeatedly from 2020 to 2022 and it was only in June 2022 when they finally complied.”

“Dorsey’s Twitter regime had a problem accepting the sovereignty of Indian law. It behaved as if the laws of India did not apply to it,” the BJP minister said. “India as a sovereign nation has the right to ensure that its laws are followed by all companies operating in India.”

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