Pop singer Rihanna was on the receiving end of severe flak from India after she took to Twitter earlier in the week to call the world's attention to the ongoing farmer protests in India. But despite criticism, the singer seems to have found an ally in none other than Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Even as the Indian government condemned "irresponsible" tweets by celebrities following tweets about farmer protests by Rihanna and teen environmentalist Greta Thunberg, Dorsey has gone about 'liking' a number of tweets praising Rihanna for her tweets.
One such tweet was by The Washington Post Karen Attiah, who wrote, "Rihanna has raised her voice for social justice movements in Sudan, Nigeria, and now India, and Myanmar. She is a REAL ONE".
In India, innocent elderly women who are farmers are being attacked. This is because the government are trying to put in new laws against farmers which will only benefit big companies and farmers will be left with nothing. pic.twitter.com/tpuHkDFGJB— Sarabjeet Kaley (@SarabjeetKaley) February 3, 2021
This was not the only tweet that Dorsey liked. In another tweet by Attiah, she called on Twitter to release a relevant emoji for the farmer protests tag in India. "Now is as a good time as ever for @Twitter and @Jack to add a Twitter emoji to the massive #FarmersProtests in India -- like they did for historic international protests like #BlackLivesMatter and #EndSars," Attiah wrote.
Now is as a good time as ever for @Twitter and @Jack to add a Twitter emoji to the massive #FarmersProtests in India -- like they did for historic international protests like #BlackLivesMatter and #EndSars.— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) February 3, 2021
The incident comes days after Twitter faced flak on the microblogging site for temporarily suspending several accounts that were tweeting about the farmer protests, reportedly for using a hashtag that was deemed as inciting violence.
On Tuesday, Rihanna tweeted a news article about the internet blockade in Delhi that followed after clashes between the protesting farmers and the police. Farmers have been protesting for weeks against three agricultural reforms passed by the Indian government last year. Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg also tweeted the same article and tweeted in support.
The tweets have led to an adverse reaction from India. While both have faced severe trolling on social media, Indian celebrities have also responded to the controversy and called for restraint while tweeting following a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs urging celebrities to be "responsible" when sharing content on social media.
Meanwhile, the tweets have led to s surge of support for both Rihanna and Thunberg from several quarters in India as well as abroad.