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Smash Brahmin Patriarchy: Barkha Dutt Slams Twitter for Lying and ‘Playing all Sides’

Dutt also said that Twitter ‘got a taste of its own medicine’ as it struggled in the face of right-wing backlash.

Senior journalist Barkha Dutt called out Twitter for lying in the appeasing apology it tendered to right-wingers who had criticised its founder for holding a picture with the slogan, ‘Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy’. In a series of tweets posted late on Tuesday, November 20, Dutt called out the hypocrisy of the social media platform displayed both during and after the meeting with Dorsey and Twitter’s legal head, Vijaya Gadde.

Dutt, who was present at the meeting, specifically countered Vijaya Gadde’s assertion that the picture was a ‘private photo’. Dutt wrote, “She (Gadde) says photo private. Photo taken & mailed to us by Twitter. Twitter fails to brief @jack; then transfers blame to women invited. SHOCKING.” She also said that Twitter had itself asked the women to tweet and share the picture.

Dutt began her Twitter thread by stating that the women invited to the meeting were asked to talk about their experience of being abused and trolled on Twitter. Recounting that she had talked about “organized bullying, rape threats, etc”, Dutt said, “A Dalit activist spoke of how Caste Slurs were not part of Twitter’s Report Abuse parameters.”

Dutt continued, “When the Dalit activist pointed out that Caste was to India what Race is to America and asked why Twitter did not see caste slurs as abuse (Gadde) broke into tears and apologized to this invitee. We were all a bit taken aback but reassured that Twitter was sincere.”

Also Read: Smash Brahmanical Patriarchy’: Twitter Does Not Stand for Social Justices

Dutt’s next few tweets are, then, about the now famous picture with the slogan. Dutt specifically said that she did not see any poster, “at the group conversation either before the meeting, during it or after,” but added that someone had mentioned a picture while the invited women were walking out. “Some of the invitees did not want to be photographed; others like (me) didn’t care. I did not notice any poster in (Dorsey’s) hand,” recollected Dutt.

Dutt also mentioned that Twitter itself had asked the women invitees to tweet and share the photo, which was not only taken by a Twitter India employee but was also mailed by Twitter to them. She added that Gadde’s statement that it was a private photo was, thus, “untruthful”.

Although Dutt said that there was no basis for Dorsey or Twitter to get into the debate involving Brahminical patriarchy with the poster, she added that she was angered by the dishonesty of Gadde and Twitter.

Lastly, Dutt sarcastically noted that Twitter got a taste of its own medicine. She added that unlike the women who were invited to the meeting — and who repeatedly face against trolling and bullying — Twitter took a cop-out by playing all sides. “Finally (Dorsey) (Gadde) — you got a taste of what many, strong, opinionated women go through every day. Unlike some of us who stand up to bullying and hold our own, you guys played all sides and were truthful to none, So, I broke my silence. But nice you got a taste of your own meds.”

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