Facebook accidentally put hidden messages like 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'The Masons Were Here' in 'tens of thousands' of Oculus VR controllers.

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
10,174
5,322
695
ibiza

Facebook said it accidentally hid bizarre and "inappropriate" messages inside "tens of thousands" of virtual-reality controllers, including "Big Brother is Watching" and "The Masons Were Here."

Nate Mitchell, the cofounder of Oculus, the Facebook-owned VR company, said on Twitter on Friday that the company inadvertently printed some unusual messages in its Touch controllers, handheld devices for playing games and navigating VR environments.

These messages were intended only for prototypes, but a mistake meant they were included in regular production devices, he said. Some messages were included in developer kits for people building software for the product, while others made their way into consumer devices in significantly larger numbers.

While there should have been no internal messages of any kind in any of the devices, a Facebook representative told Business Insider that the company would not recall them.

"Unfortunately, some 'easter egg' labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers," Mitchell wrote.

"The messages on final production hardware say 'This Space For Rent' & 'The Masons Were Here.' A few dev kits shipped with 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'Hi iFixit! We See You!' but those were limited to non-consumer units," he said. iFixit is a tech repair company known for publicly deconstructing new gadgets and posting photos of their innards online.

Mitchell added: "While I appreciate easter eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed. The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we've fixed our process so this won't happen again."

The Facebook representative, Johanna Peace, told Business Insider that while none of the affected consumer devices had been shipped yet, they would ultimately go out with the hidden messages.

"To be clear, no devices have been sold with these messages yet, since Quest and Rift S have not yet shipped," Peace wrote in an email, referring to the company's other VR products. "That said, as mentioned in Nate's tweet, the messages will be inside tens of thousands of controller pairs that will ship to consumers when Quest and Rift S ship."

Peace added: "We think it's important to be transparent with our community and take responsibility when there's an error."

The messages are printed on the "flex," Peace said, "an internal flexible component of the Touch controllers."
 

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
8,978
15,203
665
USA
dunpachi.com
Wait. Wait. Wait.

"We accidentally added a few steps to our manufacturing process to print some small words on the inside of our product"?

Sounds like they did intend to print the messages for their employees, testers, prototypers, etc but some of those models slipped into the general supply of Oculus sets.
 

theHFIC

Member
Aug 22, 2014
353
491
310
Tired: Appreciating a little goofy joke in some hardware that a small fraction of the userbase will ever see.

Wired: Crucifying a company, having them apologize and ask for forgiveness, deal with public outrage over a couple goofy statements about the state of surveillance hidden inside some video game controllers that less than 100K people own.
 

SonGoku

Member
Aug 16, 2018
1,211
890
220
Tired: Appreciating a little goofy joke in some hardware that a small fraction of the userbase will ever see.

Wired: Crucifying a company, having them apologize and ask for forgiveness, deal with public outrage over a couple goofy statements about the state of surveillance hidden inside some video game controllers that less than 100K people own.
Not the best idea of a joke when the company has a track record of holding personal data ransom and other scummy activities.
Jokes are only funny if they aren't actually real.
 
Last edited:

theHFIC

Member
Aug 22, 2014
353
491
310
Not the best idea of a joke when the company has a track record of holding personal data ransom and other scummy activities.
Jokes are only funny if they aren't actually real.
"The messages on final production hardware say 'This Space For Rent' & 'The Masons Were Here.' A few dev kits shipped with 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'Hi iFixit! We See You!' but those were limited to non-consumer units," he said. iFixit is a tech repair company known for publicly deconstructing new gadgets and posting photos of their innards online.
Clutch my pearls, those 4 sentences (with one referencing any type of privacy concerns" are just so offensive. So this you take umbrage with yet you are defending blackface on the banned twitch streamer thread. your morals are really all over the place. 2019 is crazy.
 

BusierDonkey

Member
Sep 21, 2018
666
1,004
195
Wait. Wait. Wait.

"We accidentally added a few steps to our manufacturing process to print some small words on the inside of our product"?

Sounds like they did intend to print the messages for their employees, testers, prototypers, etc but some of those models slipped into the general supply of Oculus sets.


"Unfortunately, some 'easter egg' labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers," Mitchell wrote.

"The messages on final production hardware say 'This Space For Rent' & 'The Masons Were Here.' A few dev kits shipped with 'Big Brother is Watching' and 'Hi iFixit! We See You!' but those were limited to non-consumer units," he said. iFixit is a tech repair company known for publicly deconstructing new gadgets and posting photos of their innards online.
 

SonGoku

Member
Aug 16, 2018
1,211
890
220
Clutch my pearls, those 4 sentences (with one referencing any type of privacy concerns" are just so offensive. So this you take umbrage with yet you are defending blackface on the banned twitch streamer thread. your morals are really all over the place. 2019 is crazy.
Don't make silly assumptions, im not offended by some fb "joke" (if you want to call it that)
Im just pointing out fb is a scummy company with a track record of violating privacy, so taken that into consideration i don't find their slip/joke funny, its just a reminder of the not so funny reality
Im not acting outraged or asking for fb to apologize or any similar nonsense, i just responded your post by stating there's nothing funny in their joke, if it was intended its shit.

You get a cookie for checking my post history but im not seeing how the two relate at all
 
  • Like
Reactions: Enjay