The Indian government has junked the allegations levelled by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on threatening the company during farmers' protests during the years 2020 and 2021, saying it's an "outright lie".

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official visit to the U.S., Dorsey during an interview said the Indian government threatened to put down the microblogging website in India unless the company followed the government orders of banning certain accounts critical of the government during farmers' protests in 2020-21.

Dorsey, who quit as the Twitter CEO in 2021, said India is a country that had sent many requests to "us" (Twitter) around farmers' protests of particular journalists who were critical of the government.

"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; And this is India, a democratic country," Dorsey said in an interview to Breaking Points, a YouTube news show. He also claimed similar requests from the governments of Turkey and Nigeria.

Responding to the allegations, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who's Union minister of state for entrepreneurship, skill development, electronics & technology, said Twitter is a company that believed that it was not necessary for it to comply with Indian laws. "What he (Jack Dorsey) has said is an outright lie. Govt of India has been very clear from the beginning that all companies that operate in India have to comply with Indian laws," he told news agency ANI.

Chandrasekhar said between 2020-2022, the microblogging platform had violated 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."

The minister said Jack Dorsey, who knew 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.

Notably, farmers' protests during 2020-21 led to the spreading of misinformation via platforms like Twitter, which forced the government to seek restrictions on key provocative hashtags, which could have potentially harmed peace and stability. In many cases, the company had reportedly complied with the government's requests but it restored many of the banned accounts citing "insufficient" justification.

Twitter India’s offices in Delhi and Gurgaon were reportedly raided during a controversy around the Congress party's alleged "toolkit" in May 2021. The Delhi police's special cell even questioned then Twitter India chief Manish Maheshwari regarding the matter. The company also had confrontations with the government over the IT rules.

Like Dorsey, Twitter's new boss Elon Musk had also said in April 2023 that rules for the content appearance on social media in India are "quite strict" and that he would likely comply if the government orders the banning of any accounts. "The rules in India for what can appear on social media are quite strict, and we can’t go beyond the laws of a country," he said.

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