Mark Zuckerberg 'tours' flooded Puerto Rico in bizarre virtual reality promo

Nov 1, 2013
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https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/09/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-puerto-rico-virtual-reality



A cartoon version of Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, visited hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico on Monday, in a tone-deaf livestream that was part disaster tourism, part product promotion.

Zuckerberg, along with Facebook’s head of social virtual reality, Rachel Franklin, appeared as avatars within the broadcast from his profile as they “teleported” to different locations using Facebook’s “social VR” tool Spaces. In reality, the two were speaking from the comfort of their offices in the company’s campus in Menlo Park, California, wearing virtual reality headsets.

“One of the things that’s really magical about VR is you can get the feeling you’re really in a place,” said Zuckerberg as his grinning avatar floated over scenes of flooding and destruction.

“Rachel and I aren’t even in the same building in the physical world, but it feels like we’re in the same place and can make eye contact,” he added before he and Rachel high-fived within the virtual space with the sombre scenes of Puerto Rican devastation around them.


Zuckerberg took the opportunity to talk about some of the ways Facebook was helping with disaster relief, including donating $1.5m and working with the Red Cross to build “population maps” so that relief organizations know where the most help is needed.

“You can see that we can really feel like we’re here,” said Franklin.

“This street is really flooded,” added Mark.

After a moment of reflection, the pair decided to “teleport” back to California and switch gears to promote the company’s upcoming Oculus developer conference by showing a 360-degree video from the 2016 event. They then made a virtual journey to the moon, where Franklin marveled at the “absolutely lovely” view of the Milky Way.

The livestream briefly dropped after suffering a technical glitch, before a second one started. In the interim, Zuckerberg introduced an animated version of his dog Beast to the virtual space and he and Franklin took a selfie.

After taking some questions from the audience, the pair made their final trip to Zuckerberg’s living room, where their avatars were placed in a 360-video with a giant Beast.

“It’s from the perspective where we’re tiny and Beast is huge,” said Zuckerberg, in between awkward laughs. “He’s a pretty small dog, he’s a 30lb dog, although more than 30lb of cute, and we’re kind of tiny.”

“This is one of the most exciting spaces for the future of social interaction,” he added.

After many people criticized the VR broadcast in the comments on his Facebook profile, Zuckerberg apologized.

“One of the most powerful features of VR is empathy. My goal here was to show how VR can raise awareness and help us see what’s happening in different parts of the world,” he said, adding that he also wanted to publicize Facebook’s partnership with the Red Cross.

“Reading some of the comments, I realize this wasn’t clear, and I’m sorry to anyone this offended.”
Astonishing how disconnected somebody can be.
 
Dec 9, 2009
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”One of the most powerful features of VR is empathy. My goal here was to show how VR can raise awareness and help us see what's happening in different parts of the world,"

But hold on, lemme take a selfie.
 

blugbox

Neo Member
Jan 17, 2013
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Just seeing his stupid smiling cartoon face among all the real devastation is such a disgusting image

Talk about completely missing the point and sending the wrong image... How cold can you be to think this is a good idea?
 
Oct 2, 2007
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This is in terrible taste.

Even without the avatars it's still borderline

I think that with some thought it could be useful to try to get people to realize how bad the devastation is there since the media has dropped the ball and POTUS' dumbass was doing stupid ass shit like throwing paper at people which trivialized the damage.

But Zuckerberg is one of the last people I'd trust to lead that type of effort.
 
Nov 3, 2006
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#24
”Rachel and I aren't even in the same building in the physical world, but it feels like we're in the same place and can make eye contact," he added before he and Rachel high-fived within the virtual space with the sombre scenes of Puerto Rican devastation around them.

...

 
Dec 4, 2011
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#32
...he and Rachel high-fived within the virtual space with the sombre scenes of Puerto Rican devastation around them.
Yep. That sounds like Zuckerberg, all right.

I really need to see this idiot try and run for president and get utterly humiliated.
He's white, rich, and controls one of the most powerful propaganda engines in the history of mankind. Don't downplay how much of a threat he actually is.
 
Mar 8, 2014
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I don't think it's the worst idea in the world, using VR to put you into real world situations, in theory, is no less weird than a World Vision commercial. Probably a more effective way to collect donations.

But yeah, a beyond tasteless live stream
 
Nov 10, 2013
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Good to see Oculus is finally moving on from the Palmer Luckey era into... whatever the fuck this is.

Nope! If this is what Facebook thinks a good application of VR is, VR is completely screwed.