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Facebook roasts board member's attack on 'anti-colonialism'

Marc Andreessen is learning that Indians value their independence... and net neutrality.
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David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Venture capitalist (and Facebook board member) Marc Andreessen is known for being outspoken on tech issues, but he's learning the hard way that he went one step too far. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has chastised Andreessen for claiming that India's valuation of net neutrality (such as the rejection of Facebook's Free Basics service) was part of an "anti-colonialism" mindset that had hindered the country "for decades" after it declared independence in 1947. Yes, the implication was that the country should harken back to the days of British colonial rule and accept outside influence. Not surprisingly, Zuck finds this idea "deeply unsettling" -- whatever Facebook wants, it has to respect India's culture, history and values.

For his part, Andreessen has deleted the offending Twitter post and apologized for writing it in the first place. He claims that he's "100% in favor" of independence for any country. Even so, the incident isn't exactly going to ease tensions between Facebook and India over Free Basics. While Facebook has gone some distance toward empathizing with India, this only reinforces views of Facebook as an outsider trying to impose its views.

I want to respond to Marc Andreessen's comments about India yesterday. I found the comments deeply upsetting, and they...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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