According to Union minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Twitter had been repeatedly violating Indian laws and only began complying with them in June 2022.
Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Electronics, and Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, strongly criticized the allegations made by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, labeling them as an “outright lie.” Chandrasekhar expressed his disapproval on Tuesday, refuting the claims that the micro-blogging platform faced government pressure and threats of shutdown during the farmers’ protest.
During an interview with the YouTube news show Breaking Points, Jack Dorsey asserted that Twitter faced shutdown threats in India, Nigeria, and Turkey unless it complied with directives to limit certain accounts. Specifically, in India, the aim was to restrict journalists’ and protesters’ utilization of the platform.
Jack Dorsey claimed that India, among other countries, received numerous requests regarding the farmers’ protests and specific journalists who expressed criticism towards the government. According to Dorsey, these requests materialized in the form of threats such as “we will shut Twitter down in India,” raids on employees’ homes, and the potential closure of Twitter offices if compliance was not adhered to. It is important to note that Dorsey emphasized India’s democratic status while making these remarks.
Dismissing the claims made by Jack Dorsey, the union minister stated that Twitter, under his leadership, had difficulty acknowledging the authority of Indian law.
“Between 2020 and 2022, Twitter repeatedly violated Indian law. It only began complying with the law in 2022. Throughout that entire period, no one was imprisoned or subjected to raids. Jack Dorsey, well aware that Twitter did not adhere to any law and faced no consequences, is now fabricating stories about raids and arrests,” said Chandrasekhar.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Anurag Thakur, also criticized Dorsey’s allegations.
“The statements made are outright lies. Jack Dorsey has suddenly awakened after years of slumber to cover up his own wrongdoings. When Twitter was acquired by someone else, the ‘Twitter Files’ revealed how the platform was being misused. Jack Dorsey has yet to address this issue because he was exposed… Many foreign entities become active when elections are approaching in India,” he remarked.
Following the emergence of Dorsey’s allegations, the Congress party expressed its concerns about the government’s alleged suppression of social media and journalists.
The Congress party further demanded explanations from the government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, regarding this issue. They claimed that such actions provide evidence of the country’s democratic weakening through the targeting of institutions.
“We urge the government to cease the suppression of social media and the coercion of significant sections of the media,” stated Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate.
She also alleged that opposition voices are consistently being suppressed by the government.