Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey under fire for Myanmar tweet: Reports

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey under fire for Myanmar tweet: Reports

Square CEO and founder Jack Dorsey holds an event in London on November 20, 2014
Twitter CEO and founder Jack Dorsey. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been widely criticised for a tweet in which he praised Myanmar for its beauty and people, after he spent some time last month touring the country.

Dorsey posted several tweets on Sunday (Dec 9) showing photos of his trip to the Southeast Asian nation.

“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,” he wrote.

“We visited and meditated at many monasteries around the country.”

Myanmar has been in the international spotlight since August last year after its military cracked down on the ethnic Rohingya minority in Rakhine. This came after Rohingya militants attacked several police posts in the troubled north-western state.

The ensuing violence saw more than 700,000 flee the country into neighbouring Bangladesh.

READ: Human rights law group calls for tribunal on crimes against Rohingya

Twitter users called Dorsey’s tweet “irresponsible” and "tone deaf", with some also calling him out for not highlighting the plight of the Rohingya. 

Dorsey was also roundly condemned by reporters and journalists, some whom have covered the strife in Rakhine state.

Liam Stack of the New York Times tweeted: “The CEO of Twitter went on vacation to a country that committed a genocide last year that was fueled by disinformation and hate spread by the government on social media”.

Michael Brice-Saddler from the Washington Post wrote that “… Dorsey failed to speak about the accusations of mass killings and war crimes reportedly carried out by the country's military last year”.

Al-Jazeera correspondent Mohamned Jamjoom said Dorsey's Twitter thread on Myanmar left him utterly speechless.

“I’ve interviewed dozens of #Rohingya #refugees who shared horrific details of atrocities committed against them by #Myanmar’s military,” he wrote.

“It was only in Oct that the head of a UN fact finding mission said genocide was ongoing in #Rakhine. This thread left me utterly speechless.”

In another tweet about Myanmar, Dorsey said the highlight of his trip was “serving monks and nuns food, and donating sandals and umbrellas”.

Source: CNA/rw