The News Today
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12.9.19
Not Funny

Hidden Messages Suggest That Facebook Sees User Privacy as a Joke

April 13th 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Future Society
Tag Hartman-Simkins

Ha Ha Ha

Facebook-owned virtual reality company Oculus just shipped tens of thousands of Touch controllers bearing hidden messages — which suggest the company thinks user privacy is a laughing matter.

On Friday, Oculus executive Nate Mitchell shared a series of tweets noting that “Easter egg” labels meant for prototypes of the controllers made it into consumer units. Other labels, also meant for prototypes, shipped with developer kits.

Internal Messaging

The labels include “Big Brother is Watching” — a “joke” seemingly making light of comparisons between Facebook and the all-seeing entity at the heart of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

The messages appear on the controllers’ “flex,” which Facebook representative Johanna Peace told Business Insider is “an internal flexible component of the Touch controllers,” meaning most users will never see the messages — though just knowing they’re there is unsettling enough.

READ MORE: Facebook accidentally put hidden messages like ‘Big Brother is Watching’ and ‘The Masons Were Here’ in ‘tens of thousands’ of VR controllers [Business Insider]

More on Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg Insists That Facebook Promotes Privacy