A member of Facebook’s board and influential Silicon Valley investor was forced into a groveling apology on Wednesday after acknowledging that remarks appearing to support British colonialism in India were “ill-informed and ill-advised”. And now Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement on his own Facebook page calling Andreessen’s comments “deeply upsetting”.
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LogBook : Marc Andreessen’s Comments About India Were ‘Deeply Upsetting’ – Facebook CEO
India on Monday banned Internet service providers from having different pricing policies for accessing different parts of the Web, effectively dismantling Facebook’s Free Basics program, which offers a pared-back version of Internet service.
Marc Andreessen, a prominent venture capitalist and Facebook board director, who often takes to Twitter to offer his opinions, said the new rules denied India’s poor access to the Internet.
Only 252 million out of India’s 1.3 billion people have Internet access.
“Denying world’s poorest free partial Internet connectivity when today they have none, for ideological reasons, strikes me as morally wrong,”Andreessen wrote.
“Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?”
Dozens of Twitter users blasted Andreessen for his comments, which he deleted and apologized for on Wednesday in eight tweets.
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Facebook swiftly denounced his comments, saying: “We strongly reject the sentiments expressed by Marc Andreessen last night regarding India.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement on his own Facebook page calling Andreessen’s comments “deeply upsetting”.
“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.” – Mark wrote on his post.
Facebook has introduced ‘Free Basics’ in partnership with wireless carriers in dozens of emerging nations, where the company hopes to get more people online.
But from the start, the project has raised questions about net neutrality and just how much control Facebook will have over the internet access it brings and whether it would charge more to visit certain sites.
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