Monday 16 September 2019

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey criticised for Burma tweets

The country has been accused of human rights abuses against ethnic minorities.

The social media executive spent 10 days in the country on a meditation retreat for his birthday (Lauren Hurley/PA)
The social media executive spent 10 days in the country on a meditation retreat for his birthday (Lauren Hurley/PA)

By Martyn Landi, Press Association Technology Correspondent

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has been criticised after promoting Burma as a tourist destination despite widespread allegations of human rights abuse in the country.

In a series of tweets, the social media executive revealed he had spent 10 days in the country on a meditation retreat for his birthday, and encouraged followers to visit.

Burma has been condemned by human rights organisations for violence against the Muslim Rohingya minority in the country, and a UN report has suggested thousands of people have been killed.

The country has rejected the claims.

Although the Twitter founder received some support, others called the posts “tone deaf” and “irresponsible”.

Andrew Stroehlein, the European media director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted in response: “I’m no expert on meditation, but is it supposed to make you so self-obsessed that you forget to mention you’re in a country where the military has committed mass killings & mass rape, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, in one of today’s biggest humanitarian disasters?”

Mr Dorsey has not yet responded to the criticism, but said in his initial series of tweets that he would “track responses to this thread”.

Social media platforms have previously been accused of failing to prevent the spread of hateful content online that incited violence in the country.

Last month, Facebook said it agreed with an independent report that found it had previously failed to stop its platform from being “abused” to “incite offline violence”.

PA Media

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