“Outright lie”: Rajeev Chandrasekhar on ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s “pressure” claim

13 June, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

Rajeev Chandrasekhar National

Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a stinging tweet said that the Dorsey administration at Twitter had trouble recognizing the supremacy of Indian law.

The Indian government allegedly put pressure on Twitter to block accounts covering the farmers’ protests, according to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, but Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar rejected this on Tuesday, calling it “an outright lie” and “an attempt to brush out the very dubious period” of the social media company’s history.

During an interview¬†on Monday with the YouTube channel “Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar,” Dorsey, who left the board of directors of Twitter last year, said that the Indian government had exerted pressure on the firm and threatened to shut it down there and raid the homes of its employees.

“…..India is one of the countries which had many requests around farmers’ protests, around particular journalists which were critical of the government and it manifested in ways such as we will shut Twitter down in India, India is a big marketplace for us. We would raid the homes of your employees, which they did and we will shut down your offices if you don’t follow suit and this is India, a democratic country, “Dorsey could¬†be heard saying in the YouTube interview.

Jack Dorsey made repeated violations of Indian Law: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar declared today that Twitter, led by Jack Dorsey, was “in repeated and continuous violations of Indian law,” and that they would comply only until June 2022. “No one went to jail nor was Twitter shut down,” Chandrasekhar retorted on Twitter.

He posted on Twitter today, “This is an outright lie by @jack- perhaps an attempt to brush out that very dubious period of twitters history. @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 the law repeatedly from 2020 to 2022 and it was only June 2022 when they finally complied. No one went to jail nor was Twitter shut down,” he stated.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the Dorsey administration at Twitter has trouble recognising the supremacy of Indian 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,” Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar wrote.

In reference to the farmer protest in January 2021, he said that there was so much disinformation out there that the Indian government was need to take it down because it may further exacerbate the issue by spreading false information.

“During the protests in January 2021, there was a lot of misinformation and even reports of genocide which were definitely fake. GoI was obligated to remove misinformation from the platform because it had the potential to further inflame the situation based on fake news. Such was the level of partisan behaviour 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,” he further added in the tweet.

The objective was to check compliance with Indian Laws not to punish anyone: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajeev Chandrasekhar went on to say that the goal was to check that Indian laws were being followed, not to raid anyone’s home or throw them in jail. “To set the record straight, no one was raided or sent to jail. Our focus was only on ensuring compliance with Indian laws. There is ample evidence now in public domain abt Jack Twitter’s arbitrary, blatantly partisan n discriminatory conduct and misuse of its power on its platform during that period,” Chandrasekhar clarified.

“Twitter under Dorsey was not just violating Indian law, but was partisan in how it was using “deamplify” n de-platforming of some arbitrarily in violation of Art 14,19 of our constitution and also assisting in weaponising of misinformation. Our govts policies remain clear for all Intermediaries operating in India – compliance with laws to ensure the Internet is Safe&Trusted, Accountable,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar further added to the tweet.

PM Modi repealed the Three Agriculture Laws in November 2021

The three Central agriculture laws would be repealed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared in November 2021. PM Modi remarked at the time in his speech to the nation, “Today I want to tell everyone that we have decided to repeal all three farm laws.”

Since the Centre enacted the regulations in 2020, many farmers have protested the government’s three agricultural laws.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act establishes a structure that enables farmers to market their agricultural products outside of Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs). These are the three farm laws.

At pricing that both parties agree upon, any license-holding dealer may purchase the produce from the farmers. The state governments’ mandi tax will not apply to this exchange of agricultural products.

In accordance with the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, farmers are permitted to engage in contract farming and market their products. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act updates the Essential Commodities Act as it stands.