Facebook board member offends the whole of India with one tweet

By Shrey Pacheco | Updated 11 Feb 2016
Facebook board member offends the whole of India with one tweet
  • Marc Andreessen likened Free Basics to colonialism and said that the platform was beneficial to the Indian economy and without it, the country is headed for economic disaster

Marc Andreessen, American entrepreneur and a member of Facebook’s Board of Directors has stirred controversy after posting a tweet in which he likened Free Basic to colonialism and implied that, like colonialism, Free Basic was beneficial to India and the country is headed for economic ruin by banning the initiative. A couple of days ago, TRAI ruled in favour for Net Neutrality, which meant that Facebook would not be able to continue with its Free Basics platform in India. The tweet, which is now deleted, said, “Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?” He also tweeted that the decision was “Another in a long line of economically suicidal decisions made by the Indian government against its own citizens.” Andreessen later apologised for his tweet and posted, “India is an amazing country with amazing people. Indian companies and people have had profoundly positive effect on the Internet and world!” 

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TRAI’s ruling led to a number of different reactions from people across the  globe. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement on his Facebook page which said that he was “disappointed” with the decision and added that “Connecting India is an important goal we won't give up on, because more than a billion people in India don't have access to the internet.” However, not everyone was so negative about TRAI’s ruling on twitter. The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee tweeted, “Well done India! passes strong #netneutrality rules, stands up for open Web.”

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Shrey Pacheco
Writer, gamer, and hater of public transport.
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