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India, Turkey, Nigeria threatened to shut down Twitter, reveals founder Jack Dorsey

India, Turkey, Nigeria threatened to shut down Twitter, reveals founder Jack Dorsey

Written by Sanjay Kumar

News Highlights

  • Twitter faced shutdown threats in India, Nigeria, and Turkey over account restrictions.
  • India targeted journalists and protesters during the farmers’ protest on Twitter.
  • Turkey and Nigeria pressured Twitter with bans, raising human rights concerns.

Jack Dorsey

Chief Executive Officer of Square

  • Born: 19 November 1976 (age 46 years), St. Louis, Missouri, United States
  • Net worth: 430 crores USD (2023) Forbes
  • Organizations founded: Twitter, Block
  • Parents: Marcia Dorsey, Tim Dorsey
  • Education: Bishop DuBourg High School, MORE
  • Full name: Jack Patrick Dorsey
  • Board member of: : Block, Inc. Berggruen Institute’s Governance Center; Bluesky, PBLLC;

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter, revealed that the social media platform faced threats of shutdown in India, Nigeria, and Turkey unless it complied with orders to restrict certain accounts. India specifically aimed to limit the use of Twitter by journalists and protesters, according to Dorsey.

In an interview with the YouTube news show Breaking Points, he mentioned India’s requests concerning the farmers’ protest and critical journalists who scrutinized the government.

The farmers’ protest, which lasted for a year and concluded in late 2021, resulted in concessions from the Indian government regarding specific farm laws. These demonstrations posed significant challenges to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“It manifested in ways such as: ‘We will shut Twitter 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 added.

The Indian government has consistently denied engaging in online censorship, asserting its aim to combat misinformation and posts that undermine peace and security. Dorsey also mentioned similar pressures from governments in Turkey and Nigeria.

“Turkey is very similar (to India), like we had so many requests from Turkey. We fought Turkey in their courts and often won, but they threatened to shut us down constantly,” he said.

In Nigeria, the situation was dire enough that Twitter couldn’t even deploy its employees in the country due to fear of potential government actions. The Nigerian government suspended Twitter in 2021 after the platform removed a post by then-President Muhammadu Buhari, which contained threats against regional secessionists. The ban was lifted in early 2022 after Twitter agreed to establish a local office and comply with other agreements with Nigerian authorities.

Advocacy groups have raised concerns about the human rights situations in India, Turkey, and Nigeria, given the pressures faced by Twitter in these countries.

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