On Monday, controversial Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey called it quits from the social media firm that he co-founded. Dorsey gave up his position to Twitter’s Chief Technology Officer, Parag Agrawal. The move is effective immediately, though Dorsey will stay on the board of the social media company until his term expires in 2022. In a statement, Dorsey said, “I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders. My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead.”
But Parag Agrawal forgot deleting tweets from 10 years ago, and the same have come back to haunt the newly anointed CEO. In a tweet which has gone super viral after news of Agrawal taking over as CEO broke, the IIT-Bombay graduate said in 2010, “If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists.” So, people are now accusing Agrawal of being a racist, apart from an Islamist sympathiser.
"If they are not gonna make a distinction between muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists."
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) October 26, 2010
Twitter has a rather flagrant history of censoring free speech, especially of conservatives, who are most pronounced in their opposition to Islamists. The censorship and suspension of right-wing influencers and even individuals by Twitter needs no introduction. Meanwhile, Islamists and left-leaning anarchists are given a long rope by Twitter to keep on publishing whatever nonsense they deem fit. This has led to people identifying Twitter as an organisation that has a hidden agenda, which, as Parag Agrawal’s tweet suggests, is not about to change anytime soon, despite him being a Hindu from India.
Parag Agrawal seems to have defended himself back then, by saying the line was not of his own making, but was used during a gig by a Muslim comedian named Asif Mandvi.
@Joylita I was quoting Asif Mandvi from The Daily Show. The article you are reading seems too deep for my current mental state.
— Parag Agrawal (@paraga) October 26, 2010
Other tweets have also caught the attention of internet users, and Parag Agrawal has gone on a tweet-deletion spree since the announcement of him becoming CEO was made.
More evidence of the incoming Twitter CEO's political bias. Parag Agrawal donated to the ACLU so it could sue the former president. pic.twitter.com/6wldBTMA8O
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) November 29, 2021
Parag Agrawal has also raised many eyebrows for his comments on free speech and the first amendment. In an interview about ‘misinformation’ with MIT Technology Review last year, Agrawal said “Our role is not to be bound by the First Amendment, but our role is to serve a healthy public conversation and our moves are reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public conversation. The kinds of things that we do about this is, focus less on thinking about free speech, but thinking about how the times have changed.”
— Vaan (@SavageLeeCoop) November 29, 2021
There's A Hell lot of a stuff to be deleted..😁 pic.twitter.com/Y5lSQ038y4
— Jr.Dixit ࿗ 🇮🇳 || Your Rihansh (@jrdx_24) November 29, 2021
During the recent Durga Puja violence against Hindus in Bangladesh, Twitter had shut down the accounts of ISKCONBangladesh (@iskconbdh) and BangladeshHinduUnity Council (@unitycouncilbd). These handles were one of the few influential handles which exposed the on-ground brutality faced by Hindus in Bangladesh.
As reported by the TFI, Durga Puja, the biggest Hindu festival to be celebrated in Bangladesh, came to an abrupt and violent end on October 13, when Islamists’ mobs ravaged the Hindu pandals and mandaps, desecrating the vigrahas and creating chaos by killing 4 people and leaving hundreds injured.
While Twitter presents itself as an advocate of free speech, promoter of non-violence, and non-political organisation in principles, in reality, it acts exactly opposite to what it represents itself to be. The truth is it reveres in political interventionism, and silences the voices of those who it does not like. While the Taliban, one of the most derided terrorist organisations in the world has an active Twitter account, Donald Trump, former president of the USA has been banned from Twitter. One hoped that with an India CEO at the helm of affairs, things would take a turn for the better, but that certainly does not seem to be a possibility now.