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Zuckerberg's insensitive VR joyride around Puerto Rico is disgusting to watch

11 October 2017
Zuckerberg's insensitive VR joyride around Puerto Rico is disgusting to watch

The two Facebook executives appeared as animated avatars superimposed on several real-life locations including Facebook's headquarters, the moon, and amid the devastation on storm-ravished Puerto Rico.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that his company is working with the American Red Cross to target aid efforts in Puerto Rico using artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to identify areas to deliver aid. "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", said Zuckerberg, before sharing what must be one of the most inappropriate high-fives of all time with Franklin, as their avatars stood in front of a flooded home.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and head of social VR Rachel Rubin made a decision to show off one of the "really neat" features of Facebook Spaces, the company's social virtual-reality platform, and used a 360-degree video shot by NPR of the storm-ravaged nation of Puerto Rico as a backdrop for their VR hangout.

Along with Facebook's head of social VR, Rachel Franklin, Zuckerberg's avatar was imposed over a 360-degree video from NPR that showed the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. "It's flooded. You can get a sense of some of the damage here that hurricane - that the hurricanes have done". In the virtual reality livestream, they were animated figures.

Puerto Rico VR visit
Source Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

What should have been an informational Facebook Live session about the social media site's social VR tool Spaces ended up being a tone deaf display that some are calling disaster tourism.

He also said that Facebook used satellite imagery to create so-called "population maps" that the Red Cross can use to see heavily populated areas and more quickly determine who needs help.

The Menlo Park, California-based company has donated $1.5 million for Puerto Rico relief through the World Food Program and Net Hope.

The Facebook CEO noted that Internet connectivity is crucial for people caught in the middle of such situations so that they can convey messages with their loved ones. However, Community Help feature would help to organize aid efforts in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. Further, stressing the importance of the Internet, he said that relief workers should be able to coordinate to find out the spot where people are looking for help.