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Zuckerberg promotes VR with footage of disaster-stricken Puerto Rico

Mark Zuckerberg has made some pretty tone-deaf moves in his time. Earlier this month, the Facebook CEO implied that people upset about Russian propaganda were as bad as those who wanted liberal content removed from Facebook. But just when you think he can’t do worse, he goes and scores a personal best.

This time, the Zuck appeared in a livestream promoting a Facebook VR tool as a cartoon version of himself in disaster-stricken Puerto Rico. Along with Facebook’s head of social virtual reality Rachel Franklin, Zuckerberg toured the flooded areas as Puerto Ricans worked around his smiling, high-fiving avatar.

Many citizens in the US-territory are still without power and water three weeks after Hurricane Maria struck the island, and US President Donald Trump has consistently downplayed the damage caused, thus inhibiting relief efforts.

“We’re looking around, and, you know, it feels like we’re really here in Puerto Rico, where it’s obviously a tough place to get to now and a lot of people are really suffering,” Zuckerberg explained in the livestream as his avatar grinned.

The CEO went on to describe the ways his company had helped the island after Hurricane Maria struck, but as he did, Franklin flicked through various videos of the damaged area, eventually settling on one of a severely flooded residential area.

The two subsequently “teleported” back to California as Franklin laughed. They went on to promote their VR product and Oculus Connect 4, an upcoming VR event.

The whole video oozes a Black Mirror ambiance, aided by comments that complimented the technology and ignored the ongoing disaster.

Needless to say, many weren’t happy with the use of disaster relief to sell a product.

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More

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