Twitter’s Jack Dorsey responds to Myanmar criticism over meditation trip

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to the backlash over his comments about a 10-day meditation retreat in Myanmar, which has seen the country's Rohingya Muslims suffering at the hands of its military. Dorsey, 42, was called "tone deaf" over his praise of the country and its people, and the fact that he did not comment on … Continue reading “Twitter’s Jack Dorsey responds to Myanmar criticism over meditation trip”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to the backlash over his comments about a 10-day meditation retreat in Myanmar, which has seen the country's Rohingya Muslims suffering at the hands of its military.

Dorsey, 42, was called "tone deaf" over his praise of the country and its people, and the fact that he did not comment on the widely acknowledged human rights abuses impacting the Rohingya.

In a continuation of his original tweet thread regarding the trip, Dorsey clarified that the Myanmar trip was a personal one and that he only went there because the region maintains vipassana meditation, which he's been practicing for two years, in its original form.

"I’m aware of the human rights atrocities and suffering in Myanmar. I don’t view visiting, practicing, or talking with the people, as [an] endorsement," he said on Twitter. "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."

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Dorsey also added that he had no conversations with government organizations or NGOs during the trip.

Since August 2017, an estimated 10,000 Rohingya are reported to have been murdered at the hands of the military, according to Doctors Without Borders. In addition, at least 750,000 people, according to Amnesty International, have been forced over the border to Bangladesh.

Dorsey also said that Twitter was “actively” working in Myanmar to ensure it was not used as a platform for “violent extremism and hateful conduct.”

“We know we can’t do this alone, and continue to welcome conversation with and help from civil society and NGOs within the region,” he said. "We’re always open to feedback on how to best improve."

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The chief executive, who is also the CEO of mobile payments company Square, had been taken to task after his original remarks.

"Absolutely astounded that you don’t seem to think the people on your feed merit a response in relation to your tone-deaf tweets," one Twitter user wrote. "You think staying silent is going to make the outrage dissipate?!"

In June, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years behind bars for “breaching the country’s official secrets act” after being accused of obtaining classified documents. However, their trial was largely viewed as a sham by the international community.

Myanmar has consistently denied that its military has committed atrocities against the Rohingya, claiming it was only responding to attacks from militants. But United Nations officials and human rights groups have said that top Myanmar generals should face trial in an international court for genocide.

Christopher Carbone covers technology and science for Fox News Digital. Tips or story leads: christopher.carbone@foxnews.com. Follow @christocarbone.

Twitter’s Jack Dorsey slammed for ‘tone deaf’ tweets about Myanmar

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is under fire for a series of tweets he sent upon returning from a 10-day meditation retreat in Myanmar.

The 42-year-old executive, who wrote positively about the country and its people, did not mention the plight of the Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority group that has faced a series of vicious attacks at the hands of Myanmar's military.

Since August 2017, an estimated 10,000 Rohingya are reported to have been murdered, according to Doctors Without Borders. In addition, at least 750,000 people, according to Amnesty International, have been forced over the border to Bangladesh.

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Dorsey's tweets, which detailed his experiences with vipassana meditation and serving food to monks and nuns, encouraged others to visit the center he stayed at and mentioned that Myanmar's people are "full of joy," were seen by some as politically tone deaf.

"Absolutely astounded that you don’t seem to think the people on your feed merit a response in relation to your tone-deaf tweets," one Twitter user wrote. "You think staying silent is going to make the outrage dissipate?!"

Another Twitter user said: "Any chance you could support meditation and spirituality without also supporting a regime in the midst of a horrifying ethnic cleansing? Myanmar has literally created the world's largest stateless population and perpetrated numerous well-documented atrocities vs the Rohingya."

Another Twitter user suggested: "Maybe you should have spent 10 days in some of the #rohingya villages and refugee camps, seeing the results of the lies and hate spread on your wonderful US-based "technology" platform. Really classy, @jack. Really classy."

A source familiar with Dorsey's trip told Fox News that Myanmar is one of the only places to provide the type of meditation he was seeking.

However, some users responded positively to Dorsey's tweet thread, defending the CEO.

"So [people] want Myanmar to be spoken of EXCLUSIVELY in the context of the plight of the Rohingya, and that to not mention them in specific personal experiences of Myanmar is to condone the Rohingya's suffering?" one user wrote.

Another opined: "Thank you for your good deeds in our country."

In June, Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were sentenced to seven years behind bars for “breaching the country’s official secrets act” after being accused of obtaining classified documents. However, their trial was largely viewed as a sham by the international community.

Myanmar has consistently denied that its military has committed atrocities against the Rohingya, claiming it was only responding to attacks from militants. But United Nations officials and human rights groups have said that top Myanmar generals should face trial in an international court for genocide.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is facing heat over tweets about a trip to Myanmar. (Getty Images)

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Whether or not the atrocities will impact tourism to Myanmar is an open question.

According to The New York Times, year-on-year visitor arrivals of American and Canadian travelers in Myanmar were down nearly 15 percent through September and dropped more than 26 percent for visitors from Western Europe.

"If three million Westerners don't want to come, then three million easterners will come," U Win Zaw Oo, chairman of the Mandalay Tourist Guide Society, told the Times. "Our country will not be ruined as Westerners want it to be. We can manage."

As for Dorsey, he may be regretting his last tweet from the Myanmar thread, in which he said:

"Thanks for reading! Always happy to answer any questions about my experience. Will track responses to this thread. I’ll continue to do this every year, and hopefully do longer and longer each time. The time I take away to do this gives so much back to me and my work."

Christopher Carbone covers technology and science for Fox News Digital. Tips or story leads: christopher.carbone@foxnews.com. Follow @christocarbone.

Apple’s Tim Cook: Violence, hate and division have ‘no place’ on his platform

Apple CEO Tim Cook said his company is no place for hate, violence and division during a speech in New York.

In remarks Monday night at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which honored Cook with its first Courage Against Hate award, the CEO said that technology companies have a mandate to "not be indifferent." He also decried the "stubborn and constant evils of anti-Semitism, violence and hate," referencing the mass shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue that claimed 11 lives.

"We've only had one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence," Cook said. "You have no place on our platforms. You have no home here."

Apple, which Cook said has always prohibited music with a message of white supremacy, was the first tech company to fully banish conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in early September. Although Twitter followed shortly thereafter, it has been criticized for not responding strongly enough to the spread of hate speech. Facebook, where several pages for Jones still exist with links to his podcast, has also been hit for not doing enough to police content that lives on its platform.

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Cook also seemingly took a swipe at large tech platforms, such as Google's YouTube, Facebook and Twitter without mentioning them by name in his speech.

"At Apple, we are not afraid to say that our values drive our curation decisions," Cook said. "And why should we be?"

The 58-year-old, openly gay CEO added: "Doing what's right — creating experiences free from violence and hate, experiences that empower creativity and new ideas — is what our customers want us to do."

Cook shared the story of Rush Lansing, a 100-year-old woman who witnessed the anti-Semitic violence of Kristallnacht, known as the night when Nazis looted and destroyed Jewish neighborhoods and murdered Jews in Germany. Recently interviewed by the BBC on the 80th anniversary of the attack, Lansing was asked if she had anything to say to the world on her birthday.

"Yes, I do have a message," Lansing, whose parents and sister perished in Auschwitz, told the BBC. "We only have one life, so why not use it to make the world a better place."

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Cook said that Apple strives to never forget that its devices and products are "imagined by human minds, built by human hands and are meant to improve human lives."

"I believe the most sacred thing that each of us is given is our judgment. Our morality. Our own innate desire to separate right from wrong," Cook said. "Choosing to set that responsibility aside at a moment of trial is a sin. We, as individuals, have the power to know and feel and act — and we ought to use it."

That power to regulate content has troubled tech companies this year, especially Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Facebook has touted its use of artificial intelligence, beefed up content moderation and eventually an independent oversight committee, but a report in the Daily Beast claims the social network is allowing users to post about killing migrants and minorities. YouTube, which has been accused of allowing terrorist, hateful and conspiracy-filled videos, pledged to hire up to 10,000 new content moderators this year.

Twitter has updated its various policies around hateful conduct and abuse over the last year.

In October, a coalition of civil rights groups released a report recommending a range of changes for tech platforms to adapt in the battle against hateful speech.

Christopher Carbone covers technology and science for Fox News Digital. Tips or story leads: christopher.carbone@foxnews.com. Follow @christocarbone.

Vlad the imposter: Twitter suspends fake Putin account that had almost 1 million followers

Twitter has suspended a fake English language Vladimir Putin account that had racked up almost 1 million followers.

“We suspended @putinRF_eng for impersonation based on a valid report we received from Russian officials,” Twitter tweeted Wednesday.

The BBC reports that the account surfaced in 2012 and mostly posted links to the Russian President’s public appearances. It had nearly 1 million followers when it was suspended, according to the BBC.

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The bogus account had been cited in a number of media reports.

It is not clear who set the account up. Twitter declined to provide additional details when contacted by Fox News.

The official English language Twitter account for the Russian President is @KremlinRussia_E, which is verified by the social media platform.

Last month Twitter released an archive of more than 10 million tweets originating in Russia and Iran that aimed to sow division in the U.S.

Fox News’ Christopher Carbone contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Taylor Swift named 2018’s most influential person on Twitter

Taylor Swift only tweeted 13 times in 2018 — but boy, did she make those tweets count.

Brandwatch named the "Delicate" singer as Twitter's most influential user of 2018, with an "influencer score" of 98 out of a possible 100 points.

Scores are determined by the amount of genuine engagement a Twitter user generates, counting retweets, replies and followers, as well as how many other influential users interact with the account.

The scores are then divided by users' genders.

Swift, 28, boasts 84 million followers on Twitter.

The No. 2 spot goes to former One Direction singer Liam Payne, with an influencer score of 97 and 33 million followers.

Payne, 25, gushed of the news on Twitter (of course), "Wow can't quite believe this couldn't have done it without you … thanks for listening."

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In a tie at the No. 3 spot with influencer scores of 96 each are President Donald Trump with 56 million followers, Katy Perry with 108 million, Kim Kardashian with 59 million and Demi Lovato with 57 million.

Trump placed in No. 2 this year for most influential men on Twitter, the same slot he filled in 2017.

Justin Bieber, who had the top spot last year for men, came in at No. 3 this year at 105 million followers and an influencer score of 95, besting former President Barack Obama, who had the same score but 2 million fewer followers on the platform.

Other stars with a 95 influencer score include Ellen DeGeneres, Shakira, Niall Horan, Jennifer Lopez and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denies using these devices

Twitter users curious about CEO Jack Dorsey’s tech habits got some answers this week.

Dave Gershgorn, a reporter for Quartz, tweeted at the 41-year-old Wednesday and pressed for details.

"[Jack], serious question, do you use a computer/laptop,” he asked.

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Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter, offered a short reply: “No.”

It wasn’t long before AdWeek writer Marty Swant asked if Dorsey uses a tablet. Dorsey said he doesn't.

A few hours later, Microsoft spokesman Paul Fabretti tried to get Dorsey to use one of the company’s products.

“[Jack] can I get you a Surface Go?” he asked Dorsey. “Similar size, all the functionality of a great PC.”

The tech executive, however, turned down the offer.

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“Thank you but no,” he said.

As the Press Association points out, this seems to suggest Dorsey relies on just a smartphone.

Gutfeld on Twitter bans

So after much outcry, Twitter has reinstated the account of conservative Iraq War veteran Jesse Kelly after he was "permanently" banned for violating the platforms policies.

Which policies? Not sure — since Twitter really hasn’t said. We do know it wasn't for being anti-semitic because Louis Farrakhan is still welcome.

But look Twitter's a company — it can toss anyone it wants. If I own a bar, and you’re being a jerk in that bar, you're gone.

The question, here, though, is — who stays and who goes?

If this guy was kicked off for being a jerk, then let’s kick off all jerks, right? But then, there goes Twitter.

But if the guy actually harassed someone, Twitter should have said so.

So it makes you wonder if Twitter’s treatment is fair. And, would they have changed their minds if Jesse hadn't been on Tucker Monday night.

Now I don't know what Kelly said to get him into hot water. But the trend is larger than any one dude.

It's part of a larger "fink" culture, where group-think monitors, activists, mainstream media websites and social-justice mobsters target dissenters. And this attack typically goes in one direction. Left to right. The right rarely tattles so Twitter thinks they don't matter.

So make a bad joke. Use the wrong pronoun: God help you. You'll get doxed, annoyed at home, fired from Google. Kicked off Twitter.

What's the solution? To paraphrase writer Walter Kirn, as Twitter limits expression: "It's starting to feel like tacit approval to stay."

So maybe it's time to move on — and start some freedom of our own.

Adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue on “The Five” on November 27, 2018.

Greg Gutfeld currently serves as host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) The Greg Gutfeld Show (Saturdays 10-11PM/ET) and co-host of The Five (weekdays 5-6PM/ET). He joined the network in 2007 as a contributor. Click here for more information on Greg Gutfeld.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denies using these devices

Twitter users curious about CEO Jack Dorsey’s tech habits got some answers this week.

Dave Gershgorn, a reporter for Quartz, tweeted at the 41-year-old Wednesday and pressed for details.

"[Jack], serious question, do you use a computer/laptop,” he asked.

FACEBOOK SAYS 50 MILLION USER ACCOUNTS AFFECTED BY SECURITY BREACH

Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter, offered a short reply: “No.”

It wasn’t long before AdWeek writer Marty Swant asked if Dorsey uses a tablet. Dorsey said he doesn't.

A few hours later, Microsoft spokesman Paul Fabretti tried to get Dorsey to use one of the company’s products.

“[Jack] can I get you a Surface Go?” he asked Dorsey. “Similar size, all the functionality of a great PC.”

The tech executive, however, turned down the offer.

IS TECH HARMING INNOVATION? ANTITRUST CHIEF ASKS IF THERE’S ‘CREDIBLE EVIDENCE’

“Thank you but no,” he said.

As the Press Association points out, this seems to suggest Dorsey relies on just a smartphone.

Gutfeld on Twitter bans

So after much outcry, Twitter has reinstated the account of conservative Iraq War veteran Jesse Kelly after he was "permanently" banned for violating the platforms policies.

Which policies? Not sure — since Twitter really hasn’t said. We do know it wasn't for being anti-semitic because Louis Farrakhan is still welcome.

But look Twitter's a company — it can toss anyone it wants. If I own a bar, and you’re being a jerk in that bar, you're gone.

The question, here, though, is — who stays and who goes?

If this guy was kicked off for being a jerk, then let’s kick off all jerks, right? But then, there goes Twitter.

But if the guy actually harassed someone, Twitter should have said so.

So it makes you wonder if Twitter’s treatment is fair. And, would they have changed their minds if Jesse hadn't been on Tucker Monday night.

Now I don't know what Kelly said to get him into hot water. But the trend is larger than any one dude.

It's part of a larger "fink" culture, where group-think monitors, activists, mainstream media websites and social-justice mobsters target dissenters. And this attack typically goes in one direction. Left to right. The right rarely tattles so Twitter thinks they don't matter.

So make a bad joke. Use the wrong pronoun: God help you. You'll get doxed, annoyed at home, fired from Google. Kicked off Twitter.

What's the solution? To paraphrase writer Walter Kirn, as Twitter limits expression: "It's starting to feel like tacit approval to stay."

So maybe it's time to move on — and start some freedom of our own.

Adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue on “The Five” on November 27, 2018.

Greg Gutfeld currently serves as host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) The Greg Gutfeld Show (Saturdays 10-11PM/ET) and co-host of The Five (weekdays 5-6PM/ET). He joined the network in 2007 as a contributor. Click here for more information on Greg Gutfeld.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey denies using these devices

Twitter users curious about CEO Jack Dorsey’s tech habits got some answers this week.

Dave Gershgorn, a reporter for Quartz, tweeted at the 41-year-old Wednesday and pressed for details.

"[Jack], serious question, do you use a computer/laptop,” he asked.

FACEBOOK SAYS 50 MILLION USER ACCOUNTS AFFECTED BY SECURITY BREACH

Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter, offered a short reply: “No.”

It wasn’t long before AdWeek writer Marty Swant asked if Dorsey uses a tablet. Dorsey said he doesn't.

A few hours later, Microsoft spokesman Paul Fabretti tried to get Dorsey to use one of the company’s products.

“[Jack] can I get you a Surface Go?” he asked Dorsey. “Similar size, all the functionality of a great PC.”

The tech executive, however, turned down the offer.

IS TECH HARMING INNOVATION? ANTITRUST CHIEF ASKS IF THERE’S ‘CREDIBLE EVIDENCE’

“Thank you but no,” he said.

As the Press Association points out, this seems to suggest Dorsey relies on just a smartphone.