Jack Dorsey is under serious fire on his own platform thanks to some ill-advised tweets about his birthday present to himself. The Twitter CEO traveled to Myanmar to enjoy a 10-day silent meditation, and he shared all about it in what many are calling a tone deaf series of tweets. "Looks like that silent retreat kept him silent about the ethnic cleansing of #Rohingya" Muslims in the country, reads one sample tweet reply to Dorsey. "Out of all the places you picked a spot w/ an ongoing genocide," reads another. Read on for more:
- The tweets: Dorsey explained what exactly a vipassana meditation is, talked about how great Myanmar is and urged his followers to visit, mentioned his Apple Watch and Oura ring and how they lent insight into the whole experience, and shared details from "push[ing] through til the end" after catching a cold to the amazingness of listening to a Kendrick Lamar album after the 10 days of silence ended. Read the Twitter thread in full here.
- The main controversy: Most people took issue with Dorsey's failure to mention the plight of the Rohingya, and the New York Times has more on that. Before 2012, when Myanmar was ruled by a repressive military junta, one could argue that by visiting the country, "you were lending important financial support to ordinary people who were not involved in the junta and were largely innocent of any moral wrongdoing," says one travel expert. Not so today, he continues, as the Aung San Suu Kyi-led government's actions "enjoy a degree of popular support within the general population."
- Social media's contribution: Multiple people pointed out the role social media itself has played in the Rohingya crisis; one person pointed out that the Myanmar military "weaponized Facebook" to incite violence and shared this article explaining how.