Twitter CEO slammed after he tweets about everything in Myanmar but Rohingya crisis

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 10, 2018, 04.41 PM(IST)

File photo: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Photograph:( Reuters )

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'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?,' Andrew Stroehlein, the European media director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted back to Jack Dorsey.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been in Myanmar, where he has meditated — tracked on his Apple watch whether that made him calmer and therefore sleep better — met monks and nuns, and of course tweeted about virtually everything under the Myanmar sun. 

That is everything but the Rohingya exodus. 

More than 7000,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since August 2017 following a crackdown on them by the Myanmar army and security forces. The Rohingya live in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine. They are Muslim unlike the country's Buddhist majority which considers them to be "Bengali" (Bangladeshi). 

Most of the Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh. 

"Myanmar is an absolutely beautiful country. The people are full of joy and the food is amazing. I visited the cities of Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan. We visited and meditated at many monasteries around the country," Dorsey tweeted. 

"The highlight of my trip was serving monks and nuns food, and donating sandals and umbrellas. This group of young nuns in Mandalay and their chanting was breathtaking and chilling," he added. 

Dorsey went on to talk about being bitten my mosquitoes, and the link between his meditating, his heart rate, and his sleeping. 

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He was met with a barrage of criticism. 

"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?," the European media director of Human Rights Watch Andrew Stroehlein tweeted. 

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Twitter spokeswoman Kate Hayes said in an email she had no comment on the criticism.

In a special report in August, Reuters described how hate speech proliferated on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook at the peak of the military crackdown.

In August 2017, hundreds of new Twitter accounts suddenly sprang up in Myanmar.

Many of the tweets on these accounts appeared to be attempts to counter sympathetic portrayals of the Rohingya by the Western news media and human rights activists.

Reuters reported that these and similar tweets could still be found online nearly a year after the crackdown. Twitter's "hateful conduct policy" forbids attacking groups of people on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin, or engaging in "behaviour that incites fear about a protected group".

Reuters added that Twitter removed a number of tweets the news agency flagged to it in the run up to the publication of the report. 

Dorsey had last month run into trouble in India after he was pictured holding up a placard saying "Smash Brahminical Partriarchy". 

(With inputs from Reuters)