India denies ex-Twitter CEO’s claims, says it did not threaten to shut down platform

India has slammed the ex-Twitter CEO’s allegations as an “outright lie,” saying it did not make any threats to shut down the social networking site.

On Monday, Jack Dorsey, thco-founder of Twitter who quit as CEO in 2021, accused India of threatening to shut down Twitter due to the platform’s non-compliance with government requests to take down certain posts.

He said the platform had received “many requests” from the Indian government to ban accounts reporting on farmer protests in 2021 and critical of Prime Minister Modi’s government.

“It manifested in ways such as: ‘We will shut Twitter down in India’, which is a very large market for us, and ‘we will raid the homes of your employees’,” Dorsey said in an interview published on YouTube.

In response, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Deputy Minister for Information Technology, lashed out at Dorsey’s claims by calling them “outright lie.”

“No one went to jail nor was Twitter ‘shut down’. Dorsey’s Twitter regime had a problem accepting the sovereignty of Indian law,” he said in a post on Twitter on Tuesday.

He insisted that India has the “right” to ensure that all companies operating in his country are complying with the “laws.”

Has added that “misinformation” and “fake reports of genocide” had “obligated” the government to take some posts down to avoid “inflaming the situation.”

He slammed Dorsey’s double standards and “misuse of power” in “having a problem” to remove misinformation on behalf of India, while they “themselves” did it in similar events in the US.

“Such was the level of partisan behavior on Twitter under Jack regime, that they had a problem removing misinformation from the platform in India when they did it themselves when similar events took place in the USA.”

Chandrasekhar did not name Dorsey’s successor, Elon Musk, but said Twitter had been in compliance with Indian law since June 2022.

Farmers’ protests against land reform lasted a year and were among the largest ever faced by Modi’s government and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The farmers received concessions in a long fight and ended their protests at the end of 2021.

As farmer protests intensified in the country, Modi’s government called for an “emergency ban” of the “provocative” Twitter hashtag “#ModiPlanningFarmerGenocide” and the suspension of nearly 1,200 accounts after having suspended 250 accounts beforehand.

Initially, Twitter complied but later reinstated most of the accounts on the grounds that there was insufficient justification for continuing the suspension.

Twitter was also threatened with shutdown in Nigeria and Turkey unless the platform complied with government restrictions.

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