Indians fume over offensive tweet by Facebook board member Andreessen

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Feb 10, 2016, 5:29 pm IST
Updated Feb 11, 2016, 9:49 am IST
Marc Andreessen earlier tweeted an offensive remark on Indian colonialism after Trai’s decision on net neutrality.
Member of Facebook's board of Director Marc Andreessen.
 Member of Facebook's board of Director Marc Andreessen.

Mumbai: A couple of days after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) announced its verdict to support net neutrality and ban differential pricing for data, a well-known Facebook investor and board member has lashed out at India on Twitter suggesting that “anti-colonialism has been catastrophic for India”.

Marc Lowell Andreessen, the company’s board member, was extremely disappointed with the Indian telecom regulator’s decision to ban Facebook’s “Free Basics” in the country.

 

Andreessen expressed his dissatisfaction publicly on Twitter and said that de-colonisation has been “economically catastrophic” for the country. “"Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?" he tweeted.

A screen grab of Marc Andreessen's derogatory remark on Indian colonialism. A screen grab of Marc Andreessen's derogatory remark on Indian colonialism.The tweet was taken down by him after he received heavy criticism from Indians for his derogatory remarks on the country. Soon after, Andreessen offered a ‘sarcastic apology’ and promised not to get involved in topics pertaining to India politics or economics.

TRAI’s verdict comes as a major victory for supporters of net neutrality in India. The latest order disregards any pattern of differential data pricing which disallows platforms like Facebook’s Free basics, zero-rating services, and special data packs.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also expressed his disappointment regarding the Indian telecom regulator’s decision to ban Free Basics.

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg said, “Today India's telecom regulator decided to restrict programs that provide free access to data. This restricts one of Internet.org's initiatives, Free Basics, as well as programs by other organizations that provide free access to data.”

“While we're disappointed with today's decision, I want to personally communicate that we are committed to keep working to break down barriers to connectivity in India and around the world. Internet.org has many initiatives, and we will keep working until everyone has access to the internet,” he added.

For readers who want to read TRAI’s full order can click on this link.





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