The Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus Rift accidentally shipped tens of thousands of controllers to customers this week with creepy messages printed inside the hardware. Some of these “Easter eggs” included phrases like “The Masons Were Here” and “Big Brother Is Watching.”
Both Facebook and Oculus apologized for the error, saying that these lines were included as jokes for the product prototypes, but were never intended to be included in the final version that shipped to customers.
“This was a process error. The messages were meant as Easter eggs for prototypes only and should have been removed pre-production,” a Facebook spokesperson told ABC News.
Of course, the reach of this joke will be extremely limited; customers would have to be interested in dissembling their brand-new VR controllers to even know it was there in the first place. But still, this hidden little gag has left a sour taste in the mouth of many journalists and privacy experts. Facebook has had far more than its share of privacy and data security problems; it doesn’t need to be cracking jokes that it acts like Big Brother. That’s too close to the truth for anyone to find it funny.
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