The Chief Executive of Twitter, Jack Dorsey on Thursday “liked” a Tweet asking for an emoji for the hashtag #FarmersProtests, akin to what Twitter usually does with trending global events.
The company has custom emojis that are automatically registered in a Tweet after mentioning a hashtag. These include #BlackLivesMatter and #EndSars.
Currently, farmers are protesting across North India against agricultural reforms put forward by the central government.
Global superstar Rihanna caused a stir on social media when she Tweeted out in support of the protests, asking “why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest”.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg also Tweeted in support of the protests, which drew flak from prominent figures in India.
The government has referred to these statements as interference in India’s internal matters.
Dorsey liked a Tweet which said the following – “Now is as a good time as ever for @Twitter and @Jack to add a Twitter emoji to the massive #FarmersProtests in India – as they did for historic international protests like #BlackLivesMatter and #EndSars”.
Protesters have been asking the government to withdraw the three farm laws for months. According to farmers, the reforms would hamper their earnings and also jeopardise the minimum price guarantee.
The government suggested halting the laws for one-and-a-half-years and then revisiting them – a move that has been rejected by the protesters.
Even on Thursday, Thunberg put out another tweet in support of the farmers, saying – “I still #StandWithFarmers and support their peaceful protest.
No amount of hate, threats or violations of human rights will ever change that. #FarmersProtest”.
The External Affairs Ministry had said on Wednesday that protests by farmer unions against new farm laws must be seen in the context of India`s democratic ethos and polity, and the efforts of the government and the concerned farmer groups to resolve the impasse.
It had said that the temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible.
“Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken,” the ministry said.