India strongly refuted Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey‘s claim of receiving “numerous requests” from the government to censor accounts critical of the administration and those covering the farmers’ protests while also issuing threats to block the micro-blogging site in the country.
What Happened: India’s Union IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday called the former Twitter CEO’s comment an “outright lie.”
“This is an outright lie by [Jack] – perhaps an attempt to brush out that very dubious period of twitters history,” Chandrasekhar wrote in his long statement.
“Dorsey’s Twitter regime had a problem accepting the sovereignty of Indian law,” he added.
Chandrasekhar’s comments came after Dorsey, in a viral interview with the YouTube channel Breaking Points on Monday, said that Twitter got a lot of requests from the Indian government to act against accounts covering the farmers’ protests.
This is an outright lie by @jack – perhaps an attempt to brush out that very dubious period of twitters history
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar 🇮🇳 (@Rajeev_GoI) June 13, 2023
The Block founder and former Twitter chief claimed that India also urged Twitter to take action against those journalists who were critical of the government at the time.
“India is a country that had many requests 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,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey also compared the requests from the Indian government to that of Turkey and Nigeria, which had restricted the platform in their nations at different points over the years before lifting the bans.
Dorsey said Turkey acted “similarly [like India].”
Chandrasekhar argued, “During the protests in January 2021, there was a lot of misinformation and even reports of genocide, which were definitely fake. GoI was obligated to remove misinformation from the platform because it had the potential to further inflame the situation based on fake news.”
In November 2020, hundreds of farmers took to the streets of New Delhi as they rallied against the three farm laws enacted by the Parliament in September of that year.
The end of their year-long struggle came in November 2021, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the significant announcement of retracting the three controversial farm laws.
Produced in association with Benzinga