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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey criticized for no mention of Rohingya plight in Myanmar tweets

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has come under fire for tweets about his meditation retreat in Myanmar and encouraging people to visit the country without mentioning what the United Nations has described as “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya Muslim minority.

More than 730,000 Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017, according to U.N. agencies. The crackdown was launched in response to insurgent Rohingya attacks on security forces.

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Rohingya refugees say soldiers and Buddhist civilians killed families, burned many villages and carried out gang rapes. U.N-mandated investigators have accused Myanmar’s army of “genocidal intent”. Myanmar has denied the allegations, saying its forces engaged in a counter-insurgency operation against “terrorists”.

“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,” Dorsey tweeted on Sunday.

His tweets included pictures of the barren room where he stayed at a monastery during the retreat, as well as an analysis of his heart rate while meditating. There was no reference to the plight of the Rohingya in any of the tweets.

“I’m no expert on meditation, but is it supposed to make you so self-obsessed that you forget to mention you’re in a country where the military has committed mass killings & mass rape, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee, in one of today’s biggest humanitarian disasters?,” tweeted Andrew Stroehlein, the European media director of Human Rights Watch.

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Twitter spokeswoman Kate Hayes said in an email she had no comment on the criticism.

In a special report in August, Reuters described how hate speech proliferated on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook at the peak of the military crackdown.

In August 2017, hundreds of new Twitter accounts suddenly sprang up in Myanmar.

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Many of the tweets on these accounts appeared to be attempts to counter sympathetic portrayals of the Rohingya by the Western news media and human rights activists.

They portrayed the ethnic minority as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh, or “Bengalis.” Members of the ethnic group regard themselves as native to Rakhine State in western Myanmar, but the country has denied most of them citizenship.

These and similar tweets could still be found online nearly a year after the crackdown. Twitter’s “hateful conduct policy” forbids attacking groups of people on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin, or engaging in “behavior that incites fear about a protected group”.

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Twitter removed a number of tweets flagged to it by Reuters in the run up to the publication of the report.

Last month Dorsey kicked up a social media storm in India after a picture of him with a placard saying “smash Brahminical patriarchy”, referring to the highest Hindu caste, went viral.

Twitter later apologized for the photo.

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Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; editing by Darren Schuettler

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump promises vets he won’t use his campaign slogan — then blurts it out seconds later

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While talking with veterans on Wednesday, President Donald Trump vowed that he would not politicize the event by reciting his 2020 campaign slogan -- and then did it anyway just seconds later.

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A Pennsylvania man was arrested last month for drilling holes in the women's dressing rooms of a Target store with the intention of spying, The Mercury reports. Sean Christopher Anderson, 41, was initially charged with criminal mischief and possessing an instrument of crime, but had his charges upgraded this Monday to invasion of privacy and possessing child pornography.

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Trump promoting himself as the ‘second coming of God’ is another sign of his lack of basic mental capacity: Yale psychiatrist

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump retweeted an anti-Semitic super-fan who compared Trump to the "second coming of God." That was after he made comments Tuesday suggesting that Jews who vote for Democrats are traitorous to Israel. The comments come after a long summer of Trump accusing members of the Squad of being anti-Semitic and suggesting that the Clintons are responsible for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein's death in jail.

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