When Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg called users ‘dumb fucks’
Facebook – the Internet behemoth that it has turned into – and its CEO are not new to controversies.
New Delhi: Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been in the headlines in India this week for all the wrong reasons.
Firstly, his company's free (partial) Internet initiative, 'Free Basics', was banned by India's telecom regulator TRAI while rooting for Net Neutrality.
Then, his company's board member and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen posted an offensive tweet on India: “Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?”
The tweet generated so much controversy that Andreessen had to delete the post and even apologise, vowing never to discuss again issues surrounding the Indian economy.
Even Zuckerberg had to step in to calm rising tempers in India, saying the FB official's remarks were “deeply upsetting”.
But, Facebook – the Internet behemoth that it has turned into – or its CEO are not new to controversies.
Media reports from 2010 say Zuckerberg had once used derogatory term against users of Facebook, which he had founded in his college days.
Zuck, who prefers calling individuals who use Facebook as “people” rather than “users” - a term which commodifies humans – had once referred to them as “dumb fucks” in his initial days.
In 2010, amid a row over Facebook's casual attitude towards the privacy of its then 400 million users, media outlets had disclosed an old instant messaging conversation between Zuckerberg and a friend in which the then Harvard student had described users of his newly launched social network as “dumb fucks”.
As per a report in theweek.co.uk, Zuckerberg wrote during the conversation: "Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard, just ask. I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS."
Upon being asked by the friend how he managed to get all the information, Zuckerberg replied: "People just submitted it. I don't know why. They 'trust me'. Dumb fucks."
Facebook had then responded to the publication of the private conversation saying: "The privacy and security of our users' information is of paramount importance to us. We're not going to debate claims from anonymous sources or dated allegations that attempt to characterise Mark's and Facebook's views towards privacy."
Zuckerberg had later acknowledged the authenticity of those instant meesssages.
He had told Jose Antonio Vargas's New Yorker piece: "I think I've grown and learned a lot" since those instant messages.