In a recent interview with Breaking Points, a political news and opinion podcast and YouTube channel, Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, shed light on the challenges faced by the social media giant.
Dorsey named India, Turkey and Nigeria as examples, in response to a question of countries that made demands of Twitter and himself in the past.
He said: ” India is a country that had many requests of us around the farmer’s protest, around particular journalists that were critical of the government and 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. Turkey is very similar, we fought Turkey in their courts and often won, but they threatened to shut us down constantly. In Nigeria, I don’t think we could even put people on the ground because of what the government might do to our employees if we had them there.”
Despite being the world’s largest democracy, the Indian government and Twitter are no strangers to contest among each other.
In February 2021, the Indian government introduced new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, commonly referred to as the IT rules that require social media platforms, including Twitter, to appoint Indian-based grievance officers, comply with takedown requests, and take measures to identify the originators of flagged content.
The Indian government, in early 2021, had ordered Twitter to suspend hundreds of accounts and limit the visibility of specific hashtags after threatening legal action against the US-based company. Notably, the majority of the accounts earmarked for suspension had expressed support for the farmers’ protests against the proposed legislation.
In response, on July 5 2022, Twitter filed a lawsuit against the Indian government claiming abuses of power.