Poor old Zuck. What Facebook desperately needs is a Chief Common Sense Officer. Someone at his company needs to explain to him that while he may have excellent technological ideas and suggestions for which ideas to steal from WASPy friends at college, any interaction he has with the general populace (i.e. not including shrieking lonely sycophants at the Annual Facebook Woweeee!!! conference) needs to be run by an actual human being first to give them the opportunity to say “that’s a fucking TERRIBLE idea”. I’m willing to do it for a salary of fifty dollars, just for the laughs. As long as I can sell the stories.
Zuckerberg and Facebook’s newly invented cyborg head of social VR, Rachel Franklin, “toured” Puerto Rico as three-dimensional cartoon versions of themselves from the company’s California dork headquarters through virtual reality. Hands up if that sentence made any sense to you. It was peak nerd.
Unfortunately, as you might have heard, Puerto Rico was hit by a Category 4 Hurricane Maria last month, leaving power outages, infrastructure damage and Bayou-style flooding. No-one pointed out beforehand that for someone suing tribal property owners in a tropical lands to build a mega beach fortress, high-fiving the girl from Scooby-Doo in flood terrain to advertise your newest product might be considered a touch insensitive.
It didn’t get better when he spoke.
“One of the things that’s really magical about VR is that you can get the feeling you’re really in that place. It really feels like we’re in Puerto Rico, and it’s obviously a tough place to get to right now.”
Zuck defenders insisted that we know that Facebook donated $1.5 million (or 0.016% of last quarters revenue) to relief efforts in Puerto Rico – possibly for the rights to have someone fly a drone around on the island. It also sent a “connectivity team” to the island to aid in emergency connectivity so that people could still get the latest from their favourite insect repellent in their feed while the internet was down.
Don’t be too hard on Zuck. Remember when your wife just ate chips and chocolate all day? Now she’s at least buying salads to photograph at lunch. Luckily, Facebook also “employ” three thousand Bulgarians at forty cents an hour to ensure no titty photos get through. Be thankful and offer to wash Zuckerberg’s giant Hawaiian wall. Or just visit his new home with your Facebook VR Headset, just $399 from no retail outlets.