FB board member apologizes to India

11 Feb 2016 | By Ramya

Marc Andreessen apologized in a series of tweets after upsetting India with his offensive tweet about the Indian history and politics.

One of his tweets read, "I apologize for any offense my comment caused, and withdraw it in full and without reservation."

He also stated that he is opposed to colonialism and is in favor of independence and freedom in every country, including India.

In context: FB board member's tweet stirs a controversy

What is Facebook's Free Basics?

Free Basics service lets people access a limited number of websites and Facebook for free. But, TRAI banned it, stating that service providers couldn’t charge different rates for different websites as all websites must be treated equally.

10 Feb 2016Marc Andreessen’s pro-colonization tweet upsets India

Disappointed that TRAI was opposed to Facebook's Free Basics, Venture capitalist and FB's board member Marc Andreessen took to Twitter saying: "Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?"

His statements seemed to suggest that Indians were better under British rule and that they distrust empowering Western forces.

This offensive tweet triggered a controversy.

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Reactions to Andreessen’s tweet

10 Feb 2016Reactions to Andreessen’s tweet

Andreessen's tweet invited the Twitteratti's wrath with one Netizen Gayatri Jayaraman saying: "yup @pmarca and @facebook clearly see themselves as the new East India Co colonial saviors to poor brown India."

"I had to step away from my desk after reading this. Wow," tweeted another.

Another tweet read: "…wow, claims along the lines of "colonialism would be good for us". Like East India Company?"

10 Feb 2016Marc Andreessen deletes offensive tweet

After receiving severe outrage and criticism, Marc Andreessen decided to delete his offensive tweet which suggested that Indians should have embraced British rule.

The tweets got deleted at the speed of light, as more Indians began venting their anger on Twitter.

He later tweeted saying: "I hereby withdraw from all future discussions of Indian economics or politics. Carry on…"

11 Feb 2016Mark Zuckerberg deeply upset over tweet

Zuckerberg showed his disappointment over Andreessen's comments on India's history in a Facebook post.

He also said that the comments didn't represent the way he or Facebook thought, because India has always been important to him.

However, Andreessen's partner at Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm defended him by tweeting: "It's a terrible thing to offer people with no money the choice of something free."

11 Feb 2016FB board member apologizes to India