Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responds to criticism about Myanmar tweets

Dorsey was accused of being politically tone deaf for not mentioning the human rights abuse allegations in his tweets about Myanmar.

Queenie Wong Former Senior Writer
Queenie Wong was a senior writer for CNET News, focusing on social media companies including Facebook's parent company Meta, Twitter and TikTok. Before joining CNET, she worked for The Mercury News in San Jose and the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. A native of Southern California, she took her first journalism class in middle school.
Expertise I've been writing about social media since 2015 but have previously covered politics, crime and education. I also have a degree in studio art. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie award for consumer analysis
Queenie Wong
2 min read
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Testifies To House Hearing On Company's Transparency and Accountability

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. 

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pushed back Tuesday against critics who complained the executive had failed to mention alleged human rights abuses in Myanmar after posting a series of tweets over the weekend about a meditation retreat he took in the country.

Over the weekend, Dorsey shared a series of 18 tweets about a November visit to Myanmar, praising the people and the food. He tweeted photos of his mosquito bites and shared screenshots of his heart rate from his Apple Watch. 

But the 42-year-old tech mogul was quickly called out for being politically tone deaf for failing to address the plight of the Rohingya, a mainly Muslim group that has been killed and raped in what human rights organizations have called ethnic cleansing. 

"I'm aware of the human rights atrocities and suffering in Myanmar," Dorsey wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. "I don't view visiting, practicing, or talking with the people, as endorsement. I didn't intend to diminish by not raising the issue, but could have acknowledged that I don't know enough and need to learn more."

Social networks, including Facebook, have been criticized for the role they play in spreading hate speech, including in countries such as Myanmar. More than 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape the violence and burning of their homes, according to the United Nations. The Myanmar government has denied UN allegations that its military committed genocide against the Rohingya. 

Facebook acknowledged in a report this year that it could have done more to combat hate speech in Myanmar. 

Dorsey, who noted he made a personal trip, said Twitter has been working to combat violent extremism and hate on the social network but said he didn't have any conversations with the government or non-governmental organizations while he was in Myanmar. 

"We're always open to feedback on how to best improve," he tweeted. 

Dorsey did not immediately responded to requests for additional comment, but a Twitter spokesperson said the company has nothing to add beyond the tweets.

Infowars and Silicon Valley: Everything you need to know about the tech industry's free speech debate.

Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook's data mining scandal.