Right-wing trolls and media sources claimed to have found a decade-old message from Twitter’s new Indian-American CEO, Parag Agrawal, which they claimed looked to suggest he believed all white people were racist.

The tweet, which was posted on October 26, 2010, before Agrawal had even joined Twitter, read: “If they are not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and extremists, then why should I distinguish between white people and racists?” 

However, Agrawal emphasised in the post that he was just quoting comedian Aasif Mandvi, who said something similar on the Daily Show.

Who Is Parag Agrawal

Parag Agarwal, the new Twitter CEO
Parag Agarwal, the new Twitter CEO

Parag Agrawal, 37, an IIT-Bombay graduate who took over as Twitter’s new CEO from Jack Dorsey, would be paid a $1 million annual salary plus bonuses, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In addition, Agrawal will get $12.5 million in restricted stock units (RSUs) that will vest in 16 equal quarterly increments beginning February 1, 2022, as well as performance-based restricted stock units in April 2022. Agrawal received RSUs and PRSUs early this year, according to Twitter, but no specifics were provided.

As a testament to “his commitment to and belief in Twitter’s long-term value creation potential,” Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO on November 29, had declined all compensation and benefits since 2015 except an annual salary of $1.40 since 2018 as a testament to “his commitment to and belief in Twitter’s long-term value creation potential.”

In recent years, he has sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock in Square, a digital payments company. Dorsey co-founded Square in 2009, and the company’s market worth of $98.2 billion is more than quadruple that of Twitter’s $37 billion. Dorsey presently owns approximately 11 per cent of Square and approximately 2.26 per cent of Twitter.

Agrawal was appointed as Twitter CEO on November 29, thereby joining the elite ranks of global tech CEOs from India such as Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, IBM’s Arvind Krishna, and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen.

He began working for the social media company in 2011 and has been its Chief Technology Officer (CTO) since October 2017.

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Why He Landed In A Controversy

Parag Agarwal's decade old tweet
Parag Agarwal’s decade-old tweet

This is the brand new ammunition that conservatives have gotten their hands on. They’ve long accused Twitter of restricting them, and because Agarwal is Dorsey’s legatee, they’ve worked themselves up into a tizzy, fearful that the social media network might crack down even harder.

Following Twitter’s removal of former President Donald Trump, many right-wing supporters have flocked to the site Parler.

Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, stepped down from the role on Monday, handing over the reins to Indian-American Parag Agrawal.

With this, Twitter now has two Indian-origin executives at the head, including Vijaya Gadde, the company’s policy and safety lead director.

Many are claiming that Twitter has appointed a racist at the helm, thus making the matter more controversial than it actually may be.

Parag’s Apology and Gratitude

Parag Agarwal's tweet describing his gratitude
Parag Agarwal’s tweet expressing his gratitude

The IT world as a whole lauded Agrawal’s meteoric rise through the Silicon Valley tech ecosystem, where he went from software engineer to CEO in just under 11 years. Agrawal acknowledged this in an email to his colleagues, thanking Dorsey for his advice and support. “I started working here ten years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 people.” 

I’ve walked in your shoes, I’ve seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the blunders,” he wrote, adding, “While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me.” But, above all, I see Twitter’s enormous effect, our continuous progress, and the amazing prospects that lie ahead of us.”

Following the discovery of his 10 years old tweet which was supposed to be sarcastic, he apologized and clarified himself to most of everyone who was tweeting against him.

Agrawal, meanwhile, posted a message on Twitter on Twitter’s “amazing influence, our continued success, and the tremendous opportunities ahead of us.”

He continued, “I joined this company 10 years ago when there were less than 1,000 employees.” “What we can do together has no bounds,” Agrawal remarked.

It’s fine to misinterpret things, but assuming your misinterpretations to be facts is problematic.

Agarwal, said as a reply to a tweet against him, “I am amused by people that pass judgement on people for passing judgement. I was attempting to do the same to amuse myself.

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: India Times, The Times of India, Independent

Connect with the Blogger: Debanjan Dasgupta

This post is tagged under: Aasif Mandvi, Parag Agarwal, Twitter, racism, Jack Dorsey, is Parag Agarwal a racist, Silicon Valley, Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, Arvind Krishna, Shantanu Narayen, Vijaya Gadde, technology, IIT Bombay, Twitter Trolls, controversy, parag agarwal controversy, Twitter ban, hate speech, comedy, social media, indian, retwit, misinterpretation

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