Jack Dorsey says India ‘threatened to shut down Twitter’ over farmer protests, critical journalists

The former Twitter chief said the social media platform was intimidated, its employees’ homes raided for not complying.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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“India made many requests of us” around the farmers’ protest and “journalists critical of the government”, Twitter co-founder and former chief Jack Dorsey said in a candid conversation about the pressures on the social media platform during an interview to YouTube channel Breaking Point.    

On the alleged intimidation faced by Twitter if the company did not “follow suit”, Dorsey said: “It manifested in ways such as we will shut, be pulled 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, who stepped down from Twitter’s board last year, was referring to the Delhi police special cell’s raids at Twitter India’s Delhi and Gurugram offices on May 24, 2021, at the peak of the farmers’ protest.

He also said his experience in Turkey was “very similar” to India – the Turkish government had allegedly threatened to shut down Twitter too. 

Dorsey’s allegations were rejected by union minister Rajeev Chandrashekar, who called it an “outright lie” and “an attempt to brush out that very dubious period” of the company’s history.

The controversy around Twitter in India also involved a “toolkit” tweeted by climate activist Great Thunberg for the farmers’ protest. The document was “edited and shared” by a 21-year-old Indian environmental activist Disha Ravi, who was then jailed for it.

At the time, Newslaundry produced an idiot’s guide to toolkits, anti-nationals and the mystery of George Soros. Watch it here.

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