Downtime

Oct 12 2017   12:05PM GMT

Virtual inanity

Ryan Priest Ryan Priest Profile: Ryan Priest

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Mark Zuckerberg has apologised for an insensitive Facebook Spaces broadcast in which his cartoon alter ego takes a chirpy virtual reality tour of hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico.

Facebook’s cause in partnering with NetHope and American Red Cross to aid communities affected by the hurricane is a noble one, but exploiting the disaster to show off a frankly naff-looking technology-in-progress is resoundlingly not.

Zuck segues out of chatting about the joys of these crumby 360-degree videos to “see what’s goin’ on down there” in Puerto Rico. “You can get a sense of the damage the hurricanes have done,” he grins, bobbing about looking like a character from ‘90s video game PaRappa the Rapper, in the foreground of locals trying to recover some semblance of their former lives whilst tolerating whatever’s being shoved in their faces to film them.

Before long, the novelty of high fiving his colleague in flooded streets gets a bit boring for him. They head back to California. “Let’s get rid of this transport orb,” says Zuck, as he dismissively flicks an orb containing scenes from Puerto Rico out of sight with the frivolous air of an ASBO version of The Giant from Twin Peaks.

Before long, they “teleport” to the moon. It’s nicer on the moon, eh, Zuck? Not so… watery.

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