Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO has drawn the ire of many on Twitter over his tweets endorsing Myanmar as a tourist destination with many accusing him of being blind to the plights of the Rohingya people.
Jack Dorsey had tweeted accounts of his trip to Myanmar last month for a meditation retreat. In the tweets, he described the ‘people as being full of joy’ before encouraging his 4m followers to visit Myanmar.
But some accused him of ignoring the plight of the Muslim Rohingya minority.
Last year, Myanmar’s military launched a violent crackdown after Rohingya militants carried out attacks on several police posts, leading to a humanitarian crisis that got global coverage. The events even raised calls for its leader, the Nobel peace prize holder Aung San Suu Kyi, to be stripped of her Nobel price.
Thousands of people have been killed, and human rights organisations say the army has burned land and committed arbitrary killings and rape.
‘Writing what is effectively a free tourism advert for them at this time is reprehensible,’ one Twitter user wrote in response to Mr. Dorsey’s tweets.
‘The tone-deafness here is… wow,’ another user said.
‘This is an extremely irresponsible recommendation,’ one response reads. ‘Does he pay no attention to the news and the outcry on his own platform?’
‘The military crackdown sparked an exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingya who has since fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape the violence and the destruction of their homes.’
The UN has described the operation as a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’ and says senior Myanmar officials should be investigated and tried for genocide.
The army has previously cleared itself of all wrongdoing and rejects the UN’s allegations.
Mohammed Jamjoom, a correspondent for Al Jazeera who has interviewed Rohingya refugees, said he was left ‘utterly speechless’ by Mr. Dorsey’s tweets.
“Fierce criticism (of @jack) for promoting #Myanmar as tourist destination..despite hundreds of thousands of (#Rohingya) #refugees fleeing human rights abuses the UN says amounts to genocide.” via @guardian. Even a #JackIgnoresGenocide hashtag was created https://t.co/tCzHWHTwmW— Mohammed Jamjoom (@MIJamjoom) December 10, 2018
I’ve interviewed dozens of #Rohingya #refugees who shared horrific details of atrocities committed against them by #Myanmar’s military. 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. https://t.co/j78ttbq5pF— Mohammed Jamjoom (@MIJamjoom) December 9, 2018
I’ve interviewed dozens of #Rohingya #refugees who shared horrific details of atrocities committed against them by #Myanmar’s military. 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.
Others pointed to the role social media platforms, such as the one Mr. Dorsey heads up, have played in the Rohingya crisis.
Last month, Facebook said it agreed with a report that found it failed to prevent its platform from being used to ‘incite offline violence’ in Myanmar.
‘Social media [is] amplifying the genocide and meanwhile, Jack Dorsey proudly tweets about the amazing silent retreat he did,’ one tweet reads.
‘While you were meditating in Myanmar, any revelations on how you’re going to stop their [government] and supporters from using your platform?’ another user wrote.
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.
Jack recently expressed Twitters apolitical and neutral stance restating its commitment to ‘collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.’
We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.— jack (@jack) March 1, 2018