GoI rebuts former Twitter CEO’s claim putting pressure during farmers’ protest

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Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has stirred a hornet’s nest by alleging that the Indian government had threatened it with a shutdown during the 2020-21 farmers’ protest.

Dorsey has added that the government threatened to raid the homes of employees if it didn’t listen to what was being told. The statement, as expected, has evoked strong reactions on social media and the Indian government has refuted the allegations strongly.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has called the statement an “outright lie”, and rubbished Dorsey’s claims. “@twitter under Dorsey and his team were in repeated and continuous violations of India law. As a matter of fact they were in non-compliance with law repeatedly from 2020 to 2022 and it was only June 2022 when they finally complied,” Chandrasekhar tweeted.

“Such was the level of partisan behaviour 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,” Chandrasekhar said.

Previous run-ins with the government

The trouble between Twitter and the Indian government started in late 2020 as the protest against the then introduced farm laws intensified. As heavily polarised views on social media were raging on, Twitter red flagged a post by BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya for allegedly posting a doctored photo of the protest.

Twitter, under Dorsey, was taking such action across the world. It was notably regularly red flagging tweets by Donald Trump who was then the US President.

India meanwhile changed its rules – with Information Technology Rules 2021 – which mandates that the intermediaries, including social media intermediaries, must establish a grievance redressal mechanism for receiving resolving complaints from the users or victims. The social media platforms will also have to publish compliance reports. Twitter had finally complied with the new set of IT rules, in July last year. (PTI) 

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