Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has denounced comments made by key Facebook investor Marc Andreessen that appeared to support the colonization of India.
The high-profile Silicon Valley venture capitalist took to Twitter on Tuesday evening local time to defend Facebook's Free Basics program, which recently failed to garner support with Indian regulators. In his initial tweet, he said it was "morally wrong" to deny free partial-internet connectivity to the world's poorest people.
Things went south when Andreessen responded to a user who compared Free Basics to "Internet colonialism." He replied in a tweet that has since been deleted, "Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?"
Users on Twitter were, unsurprisingly, upset.
Facebook was quick to denounce the comments by Andreessen, who was an early investor in Facebook and has been a board member since 2008. The company said on Wednesday, "We strongly reject the sentiments expressed by Marc Andreessen last night regarding India."
In a separate post on Facebook, Zuckerberg called Andreessen's comments "deeply upsetting."