Facebook director apologises for ‘colonialism’ remark, Zuckerberg calls it upsetting

Twitter where the Net Neutrality debate has often been fairly acrimonious, saw a not-so innocuous tweet from Venture Capitalist Marc Andreessen, which has angered many.

By: Tech Desk | Updated: February 11, 2016 11:02 am
Marc Andreessen, Marc Andreessen tweet, Marc Andreessen colonialism tweet, Facebook, Facebook investor tweet, Facebook tweet, Facebook Free Basics tweets, Facebook Free Basics, TRAI, Net Neutrality, Net Neutrality in India Mark Andresssen’s tweet on Facebook, Free Basics and colonialism that has angered Indians on Twitter.

Update: Mark Zuckerberg is not at all happy with Marc Andreessen’s comment and has personally responded to the remarks.

In a post early Thursday morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Andreessen’s views do not represent that of Facebook and that he was ‘deeply upset’ by his remarks.

“I want to respond to Marc Andreessen’s comments about India yesterday. I found the comments deeply upsetting, and they do not represent the way Facebook or I think at all. India has been personally important to me and Facebook. Early on in my thinking about our mission, I traveled to India and was inspired by the humanity, spirit and values of the people. It solidified my understanding that when all people have the power to share their experiences, the entire world will make progress.” 

“Facebook stands for helping to connect people and giving them voice to shape their own future. But to shape the future we need to understand the past. As our community in India has grown, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the need to understand India’s history and culture. I’ve been inspired by how much progress India has made in building a strong nation and the largest democracy in the world, and I look forward to strengthening my connection to the country,” Zuckerberg said.

Andreessen has also apologised for the remarks saying, “Last night on Twitter, I made an ill-informed and ill-advised comment about Indian politics and economics. To be clear, I am 100% opposed to colonialism, and 100% in favor of independence and freedom, in every country, including India. I am a huge admirer of the nation of India and the Indian people, who have been nothing but kind and generous to me for many years. I apologize for any offense my comment caused, and withdraw it in full and without reservation. I will leave all future commentary on all of these topics to people with more knowledge and experience than me.”

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TRAI’s decision to ban zero-rating platforms in India might have evoked much relief and joy for Net Neutrality activists and SaveTheInternet.in supporters in the country, but it seems not everyone is happy.

Twitter, where the Net Neutrality debate has often been fairly acrimonious, saw a not-so innocuous tweet from Marc Lowell Andreessen, Amercian entrepreneur and founder of the venture capitalist firm Andreessen Horowitz. He is also on the board of Facebook as a director.

Andreessen, who tweets at @pmarca, had this to say about the whole TRAI order and Free Basics ban: “Anti-colonialism has been catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now.

The Venture capitalist later deleted his tweet, and said that he was withdrawing himself “from all future discussions of Indian economics or politics.” He added that he was “opposed to colonialism, in any country.”

 

Check out his tweets below:

But for Andreessen, the apology if one can call it that, came a tad too late and even though he had deleted the tweet, a screenshot of it was widely being shared on Twitter.

The tweet has already been interpreted as a support for colonialism by the VC founder, and many pointed out on the social media site that he had no idea of the oppressive colonial regime in India under the British.

Below are some reactions to his tweet

Read more: TRAI’s differential pricing verdict and what it means for Net Neutrality

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  1. A
    Abhinav Gour
    Feb 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm
    They wanted to Capture our Internet
    Reply
    1. R
      Rajesh
      Feb 10, 2016 at 10:07 am
      "Hindu rate of growth" always annoys me! That is the rate of growth during that foolish agnostic Nehru's socialism. What you should be calling Hindu rate of growth is the record high growth under Vajpayee, and the one under Modi which is currently on the verge of surping China to become the fastest rate of growth in the world. Andreeson is just a moron who is upset that the Indian govt shut down his company's opportunity to destroy net neutrality.
      Reply
      1. B
        Bruno Andersen
        Feb 11, 2016 at 5:43 pm
        There is definitely a respect deficit toward India on the part of westerners, especially ones who have worked in India and China and compare the two. I think the Indian government needs to try to do a better job of promoting India success stories abroad to dispel misconceptions.
        Reply
        1. S
          Satya Paul
          Feb 10, 2016 at 6:35 pm
          US and the West is materialism personified! For money they would sell their mother even.
          Reply
          1. I
            Indian
            Feb 10, 2016 at 10:16 pm
            what he spoke is truth!
            Reply
            1. H
              Hanuman
              Feb 10, 2016 at 6:10 pm
              What he said is what the so-called "powerful" Indians always have been saying in their plush dining rooms and seven-star hotels. P. Chidambaram in fact invited (in the '90s, Rao-Manmohan-Chidambaram-YSinha-Arun Shourie era) the Britishers to come again to rule India's economy, reminding them of their earlier political-military rule of yore flatteringly.
              Reply
              1. N
                Nityananda
                Feb 11, 2016 at 4:11 am
                At least Andreessen's retraction and apology is handsomely worded and he has accepted his mistake in unambiguous terms. We have to look around and see how many of our politicians have accepted their mistakes and offered an open apology to the public. The number is ZERO. Our leaders should all take a course on humility from Andreessen.
                Reply
                1. D
                  David
                  Feb 10, 2016 at 8:12 pm
                  People of India please open your minds. Think. Mr. Zuckerberg /Facebook is not in India to help. But to capture the market and make billions, his appee is voracious. He uses the words "free" and "poor" to exploit and fool Indians. In hindsight Mr Modi meeting him personally was a mistake, when it comes to money he does not understand friendship, just interest.
                  Reply
                  1. D
                    David
                    Feb 10, 2016 at 8:26 pm
                    TRAI has acted in good faith. Its a good decision. Or our internet and Internet economy will be swallowed by multi nationals.
                    Reply
                    1. D
                      David
                      Feb 10, 2016 at 8:01 pm
                      Well articulated. ..
                      Reply
                      1. D
                        David
                        Feb 11, 2016 at 9:58 am
                        You are a mismatch. ..
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          rrrr
                          Feb 10, 2016 at 12:43 pm
                          Oh my god, how intollerant this guy is? Anybody for award wapsi?
                          Reply
                          1. S
                            sanjeeva shukla
                            Feb 10, 2016 at 6:36 pm
                            Andressen, baby you forgot the darn net is neutral in your war-monging country. You also forgot America was planet's largest slave-nation. And worst, you forgot to promote #FreeBasics in Zucker's own country.
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              autonomous
                              Feb 10, 2016 at 10:44 am
                              To capture the w internet market in India and make money is their aim ultimately ,but it was destro by TRAI these tweets shows their true motive and despiration of loosing a big business market like India.They want to still rule us, through these business making a tag free,and looting all our money.Good job TRAI.Hope every Indians should be aware if these.we have the right to choose of what to view.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Shekhar
                                Feb 10, 2016 at 11:25 am
                                dear Mr, Marc could you also please promote the same thing in your own country. will you? please give it try..
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Shyamal Ganguly
                                  Feb 10, 2016 at 4:52 pm
                                  Sir, you have gotten the pulse of these people correct. These were the chumchas and beneficiaries (a lot of people) who are continually going to try this kind of Modi-bashing. Anecdote from bible: "Moses went to the mountain in search of 10 commandments and he was missing for several days or weeks". Jews who left Egypt but not loyal to Moses created a Golden Deity and started worship and merrymaking. After Moses came back he told his followers to separate themselves from these debauch people and then he killed them. Krishna also killed lots of people who were the followers of Adharma. I think India is getting ready to kill such type of people en-me and democracy has to be suspended for a while.
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sushil Asthana
                                    Feb 10, 2016 at 4:09 pm
                                    This guy forgot what HITLER did to his ancestors. I wish this was in Hitler era.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Rahul Rahul
                                      Feb 11, 2016 at 8:10 am
                                      So as you can see now, meeting Modi at FB headquarters, coming to India, praising India etc. did not help him. We in India have supported and demamded Net Neutrality and TRAI did the needful.
                                      Reply
                                      1. U
                                        UBV
                                        Feb 10, 2016 at 11:03 am
                                        Ek aur gora kutta
                                        Reply
                                        1. V
                                          vineeth
                                          Feb 11, 2016 at 4:13 am
                                          #IndiaQuitFB
                                          Reply
                                          1. V
                                            Volksgenosse
                                            Feb 15, 2016 at 12:47 am
                                            Oh there is a problem in India, but it's not "anti-Colonialism" it is the Marxist cancer that has been allowed to metastasize in the halls of government, in the academies and among the working cl. India is wise to keep the multi-nationals and the financial parasites that dominate the West at an arms length, but let us not forget the Communists are always there trying to hamper any efforts by non-communists to improve the quality of life in India, whether maniting the trade unions as pawns or the bureaucrats who waste resources or moral signalling pet projects. For India to thrive the marxist elements, that obstruct the national interest as part of their international goals, must be rooted out of all cles. Only then can the national interest flourish, building the folk-community so necessary for a prosperous future.
                                            Reply
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