rajeev chandrasekhar jack dorsey: Jack Dorsey’s comment on Indian government pressuring Twitter an outright lie: MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar


Hours after former Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey claimed that the Indian government had pressured the platform to remove accounts of farmers, journalists and other government critics, the minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar hit back, calling it an “outright lie”.

“This is an outright lie by @jack- perhaps an attempt to brush out that very dubious period of twitters history. Facts and truth @twitter undr Dorsey n his team were in repeated n 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 said in a tweet early morning.

Late last night India time, Dorsey said in an Youtube interview with Breaking Points that during the farmers’ protest of 2021, the Indian government had asked it to take down accounts that belonged to farmers, journalists and activists and other people critical of the central government.

Dorsey also went on to add that the Centre had then told Twitter that if it did not follow the directions, the platform’s employees would be jailed, and their houses would be raided. Dorsey also claimed that the central government had threatened to shut down Twitter in India.

Responding to Dorsey’s claim, Chandrasekhar on Tuesday said that no Twitter employees were sent to jail and neither was the platform shutdown.

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“During the protests in January 2021, there was a lot of misinformation and even reports of genocide which were definitely fake. GoI (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,” Chandrasekhar said.

The central government and Twitter had between January and February 2021 engaged in several rounds of verbal and legal spats back and forth after the platform had refused to take down some of the content flagged by ministry of electronics and information technology.

The IT ministry had, in response, threatened legal action against the platform and said that the orders had to be followed by the platform as they had been issued under Section 69 A of the IT Act, which granted it emergency status.

Twitter has, since the change of ownership. Elon Musk, who took over the platform in October last year, said that his company would comply with local laws than risk jail for its employees.

“The rules in India for what can appear on social media are quite strict and we can’t go beyond the laws of the country. If we have a choice of either our people go to prison or we comply with the laws, we will comply with the laws,” Musk had said in April this year.

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