Indian authorities threatened to close Twitter down until it complied with orders to limit accounts crucial of the federal government’s dealing with of farmer protests, co-founder Jack Dorsey stated, an accusation Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities known as an “outright lie”.
Dorsey, who stop as Twitter CEO in 2021, stated on Monday that India additionally threatened the corporate with raids on workers if it didn’t adjust to authorities requests to take down sure posts.
“It manifested in methods equivalent to: ‘We are going to shut Twitter down in India’, which is a really massive marketplace for us; ‘we are going to raid the houses of your workers’, which they did; And that is India, a democratic nation,” Dorsey stated in an interview with YouTube information present Breaking Factors.
Deputy Minister for Data Expertise Rajeev Chandrasekhar, a prime rating official in PM Modi’s authorities, lashed out towards Dorsey in response, calling his assertions an “outright lie”.
“Nobody went to jail nor was Twitter ‘shut down’. Dorsey’s Twitter regime had an issue accepting the sovereignty of Indian regulation,” he stated in a put up on Twitter.
Dorsey’s feedback once more put the highlight on the struggles confronted by international expertise giants working beneath PM Modi’s rule. His authorities has typically criticized Google, Fb and Twitter for not doing sufficient to sort out faux or “anti-India” content material on their platforms, or for not complying with guidelines.
The previous Twitter CEO’s feedback drew widespread consideration as it’s uncommon for world corporations working in India to publicly criticise the federal government. Final 12 months, Xiaomi in a courtroom submitting stated India’s monetary crime company threatened its executives with “bodily violence” and coercion, an allegation which the company denied.
Dorsey additionally talked about related stress from governments in Turkey and Nigeria, which had restricted the platform of their nations at completely different factors through the years earlier than lifting these bans.
Twitter was purchased by Elon Musk in a $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,62,495 crore) deal final 12 months.
Chandrasekhar stated Twitter beneath Dorsey and his staff had repeatedly violated Indian regulation. He did not identify Musk, however added Twitter had been in compliance since June 2022.
Massive tech vs PM Modi
PM Modi and his ministers are prolific customers of Twitter, however free speech activists say his administration resorts to extreme censorship of content material it thinks is crucial of its working. India maintains its content material elimination orders are geared toward defending customers and sovereignty of the state.
The general public spat with Twitter throughout 2021 noticed PM Modi’s authorities looking for an “emergency blocking” of the “provocative” Twitter hashtag “#ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide” and dozens of accounts. Farmers’ teams had been protesting towards new agriculture legal guidelines on the time, one of many greatest challenges confronted by the PM Modi authorities.
The federal government later gave in to the farmers’ calls for.
Twitter initially complied with the federal government requests however later restored many of the accounts, citing “inadequate justification”, resulting in officers threatening authorized penalties.
In subsequent weeks, police visited a Twitter workplace as a part of one other probe linked to tagging of some ruling occasion posts as manipulated. Twitter on the time stated it was nervous about workers security.
Dorsey in his interview stated many India content material take down requests throughout the farmer protests have been “round specific journalists that have been crucial of the federal government.”
Since PM Modi took workplace in 2014, India has slid from one hundred and fortieth in World Press Freedom Index to 161 this 12 months, out of 180 nations, its lowest rating ever.
© Thomson Reuters 2023