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“Twitter is a manipulated medium,” MoS Meenakashi Lekhi after Jack Dorsey’s “pressure” remark

The Union Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi called Twitter a "manipulated medium" (Pic. Courtesy ANI)

Reacting to the former Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey’s Indian “government pressure” remark, Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi on Tuesday called the microblogging site a “manipulated medium.” She urged Twitter CEO Elon Musk to open the files of Twitter India and the government of India to check the shareholding of the company.

Reacting to Dorsey’s claim that the Indian government had put pressure on the microblogging platform to block accounts during the farmers’ protests, Meenakashi Lekhi said, “Twitter is a manipulated medium. All I can say is that Elon Musk as a new owner of Twitter has opened some files which are called Twitter files US and lot many things which are illegal, unethical have been found which were being practiced by the then chief and the company which he recently took over.” Speaking to ANI, Lekhi said, “I am requesting Elon Musk to open the files of Twitter India and also the government of India to investigate Twitter India and Twitter Asia and they must also check the shareholding of this company.”

In response to question regarding the Opposition parties statement that freedom is under threat in India, Meenakashi Lekhi said, “That is why I’m saying please check the shareholding and check the financial transactions. You will be surprised to what I think people like me are aware of.”

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday hit out at Jack Dorsey’s Indian government’s “pressure” remark. Chandrashekhar alleged that between 2020 and 2022, Twitter was found violating Indian law multiple times and the platform had started to comply with the law only in 2022.

Reacting to Dorsey’s claim, Rajeev Chandrasekhar called it “an outright lie” and “an attempt to brush out the very dubious period” of the social media company’s history. He said that Twitter “weaponised misinformation” against Indians and the government of India during the period of 2020.

Speaking to ANI, Chandrasekhar said, “During the period of 2020, Twitter weaponised misinformation against Indians and the government of India and therefore they were exposed. Twitter that is now in public domain, during this period was not only partisan but was behaving in an absolute arbitrary manner and the Twitter files that have then come out after Jack Dorsey sold Twitter has exposed it to be a platform that abused its power, misused its power.”

“Between 2020-2022, Twitter was violating Indian law multiple times. It started complying with the law only in 2022. During that entire period, nobody went to jail, and nobody was raided. Jack Dorsey knowing very well that Twitter did not comply with any law and didn’t face any consequence, is today lying and making stories about raids and arrests,” Chandrasekhar said.

The minister alleged that Dorsey’s re-brushing the history of Twitter’s conduct is a total outright lie. His statement comes after Jack Dorsey in his interview with the US-based YouTube channel ‘Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar’ alleged that the Indian government had put pressure on Twitter and said that it will shut down the company in India and raid the houses of its employees.

Dorsey in an interview aired on the YouTube channel said, “…..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.”