Internet has shown the world that even the greatest people of the world could make huge and silly mistakes. There have been several instances on the internet where some big personality made some seriously offensive comments and then had to apologize. Such a thing has recently happened with Facebook as the director of the world’s biggest social network, Facebook, tweeted comments about India that were quite offensive to the Indian nation. It was Marc Andreessen who made comments about India and caused great trouble to Mark Zuckerberg who then apologized publicly for what was said by Facebook director.
Facebook has been working on a free internet service that it has tried to introduce in many countries of the world. The company had made the same attempt in India but India did not allow this service to be made available. This from India caused the director of Facebook to get on Twitter and say to the world that Indians have suffered greatly by going against Colonialism and after seeing that happen they should not stop this from happening now. It was an implication that Andreessen is a supporter of colonialism and what Facebook is doing is synonymous to colonialism.
It was on Wednesday night that Mark had to apologize for the comments made by the director of his company. Mark said that it upset him deeply what the director of the company had said about India. Mark completely disconnected himself and the company from the comments made by their director and said that the words coming from the director were not a reflection of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s thoughts. Mark then continued to talk about his experiences when he had visited India and was inspired by the cultures of the country.
It has to be kept in mind here that India is home to more than 1 billion people where the world has only 7 billion humans in total. Destroying relations with a market so huge could be devastating for Facebook and Andreessen was going to do just that with his latest comment.
Another noticeable thing here is that most people in India still live without any internet connection. This gave Facebook a chance to make internet available in the country and take advantage of the opportunity of making Facebook available to the people by including Facebook as the basic service included in the internet provided by the company.
This internet service is being provided by Facebook by partnering with the telecom companies in the countries it has targeted. The internet service being provided by Facebook through the telecom companies is being called “free basics”. It is because this service will allow people to use only the basics on the internet. They will be able to see weather, health related stuff and some travel content with this basic internet connection. The most important thing is that Facebook will also be part of the free service that is being provided by Facebook and the telecom companies.
Free Basics from Facebook has been allowed in many countries but it has received the same amount of criticism from people and legal entities. Law says that Net Neutrality will be affected by the idea that Facebook is trying to bring. Net Neutrality does not allow internet services to be used in such a way that the service providers could take advantage by only allowing their favored services to be used by slowing down the connection when users use some other service. It is also being said that Facebook is trying to make itself available in such a way that people will have no other choice but to use Facebook because they will have access to anything else other than the social networking giant.
On the other side, Andreessen had to come and apologize publicly for his comments as expected. Andreessen sent 5 tweets, one after another, to apologize in front of the world for what he had said about India some time ago. The most important thing he said in his comments was that he had absolutely no soft corner for colonialism. He had to specifically talk about this issue because his tweets about India carried the impression that he liked colonialism and was trying to propagate the idea.
He said that he had received only love from the people of India and what he had said about the country was nothing but misinformation and a silly mistake. He also pointed at the fact that his comment was ill-advised. From this it seems that there was someone who had advised him to post this tweet. He deleted his offensive comments about the Indian nation and continuously apologized for his action. He also implied that he will not tweet in the future and will leave this job to people who know how to do it.
It must be mentioned here that Facebook has been spreading its “free basics” services all around the world. India is not the only country that has not allowed Facebook its free basics in the country. Egypt is the other country that did not let Facebook make free internet available to the public with the only choice of letting them use Facebook. The World Bank has also talked about the matter of “free basics” claiming that net neutrality will be killed with the steps that Facebook is taking and that the markets will receive a very negative impact because of this.
Facebook has been joining hands with mobile network service companies in various countries to provide a basic version of internet access where people are able to use Facebook and some other allowed platforms without paying anything for the services. Since WhatsApp has also become a part of Facebook, there are countries where WhatsApp has been allowed to users to be used for free. India is one of the biggest markets for Facebook in the world but it can’t be said with surety whether Facebook will be able to provide “Free Basics” in India or not, after the offensive tweets from its director.