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Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Out Against Marc Andreessen's "Deeply Upsetting" Comments

In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg distanced himself—and Facebook—from Andreessen's tone-deaf comments from earlier today.

[Photo: Flickr Users Web Summit, Fortune Live Media, courtesy of Facebook]

Mark Zuckerberg did damage control through a pandering Facebook post this afternoon, in which he denounced Facebook board member Marc Andreessen's comments defending colonialism in India.

On Tuesday night, Andreessen took to Twitter to opine that Indian regulators should not have banned Free Basics, Facebook's free app offering limited Internet access. In response to a Twitter user who compared Free Basics to "Internet colonialism," Andreessen insinuated that the Indian economy had tanked as a result of the country's anti-colonial policies. In doing so, the venture capitalist further marred Free Basics's reputation—which has already taken a beating in India—by pairing it with the notion of colonialism.

Zuckerberg was quick to distance himself—and Facebook—from Andreessen's tone-deaf comments. "I want to respond to Marc Andreessen's comments about India yesterday," he wrote in his post. "I found the comments deeply upsetting, and they do not represent the way Facebook or I think at all."

He reiterated Facebook's relationship with India, which has taken a hit following the country's rejection of Free Basics. "As our community in India has grown, I've gained a deeper appreciation for the need to understand India's history and culture," he wrote. "I've been inspired by how much progress India has made in building a strong nation and the largest democracy in the world, and I look forward to strengthening my connection to the country."

Here is Zuckerberg's full post:

I want to respond to Marc Andreessen's comments about India yesterday. I found the comments deeply upsetting, and they do not represent the way Facebook or I think at all.

India has been personally important to me and Facebook. Early on in my thinking about our mission, I traveled to India and was inspired by the humanity, spirit and values of the people. It solidified my understanding that when all people have the power to share their experiences, the entire world will make progress.

Facebook stands for helping to connect people and giving them voice to shape their own future. But to shape the future we need to understand the past. As our community in India has grown, I've gained a deeper appreciation for the need to understand India's history and culture. I've been inspired by how much progress India has made in building a strong nation and the largest democracy in the world, and I look forward to strengthening my connection to the country.

How Does Mark Zuckerberg Generate Innovation?

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