Jack Dorsey: India threatened to shut down Twitter, raid employee homes

Must read

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the Indian government made repeated requests for Twitter to take down posts and threatened drastic action against the social media site if its requests were not met.

Mr. Dorsey said that during his time at Twitter, the Indian government was focused on limiting the number of posts about farmers’ protests in India. He said journalists and activists were often the targets of requests.

The requests “manifested in ways such as ‘we will shut Twitter down in India’, ‘we would 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,” Mr. Dorsey told Breaking Points.

Twitter publicly fought against India’s overreaching internet regulations. In fact, the company famously sued the Indian government to contest some of the requests to block or otherwise censor material. This led to two unannounced visits to Twitter’s offices by Indian authorities, according to Mr. Dorsey.

Indian officials disagree with Mr. Dorsey’s interpretation of events and say that Twitter acted as if it were above the law.

“It behaved as if the laws of India did not apply to it. India as a sovereign nation has the right to ensure that its laws are followed by all companies operating in India. During the protests in January 2021, there was a lot of misinformation and even reports of genocide, which were definitely fake,” Deputy Minister for Information Technology in India Rajeev Chandrasekhar said. “The government of India was obligated to remove misinformation from the platform because it had the potential to further inflame the situation based on fake news.”

Twitter’s mild resistance to India’s censorship efforts under Mr. Dorsey stands in sharp contrast to the company’s position under Elon Musk. A recent report found that Twitter under Mr. Musk has agreed to censor nearly every post a foreign government wants. The report shows the company complying with Turkey and India’s governments to block or restrict dozens of accounts.

That contrasted with Mr. Dorsey’s banning of many right-wing American voices on Twitter. Mr. Musk reversed such bans, making him wildly popular with conservatives.

More articles

Latest article