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11 October 2017, 12:24 | Patty Hardy
Image Screengrab via Facebook
Zuckerberg then awkwardly narrates his way through the video, commenting that "one of the things that's really magical about virtual reality is you can get the feeling that you're really in a place". Because that could actually be helpful?
This time, the Zuck appeared in a livestream promoting a Facebook VR tool as a cartoon version of himself in disaster-stricken Puerto Rico.
Online users have called Zuckerberg a "heartless billionaire" and accused him of "exploiting disaster" after a presentation which was hosted on his Facebook page.
Using Facebook Spaces, Zuckerberg virtually visited the affected areas along with Rachel Franklin, Facebook's head of social VR.
But the video is also cringeworthy: Zuck stops in front of an image of a flooded street and observes "this street is completely flooded", prompting Rubin to say "It's insane to feel like you are here".
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Zuckerberg also discussed Facebook's $1.5 million donation to organizations doing hurricane relief like the World Food Program as well as it sending a "connectivity team" to the island to help restore telecommunication services.
The Facebook CEO said that the company is working with the American Red Cross to aid efforts in the affected areas using satellite imagery and artificial intelligence. "There's a lot of people who are using Spaces.to do interviews and Q&As in VR, and to go places that it wouldn't be possible to necessarily go or definitely would be a lot harder to go in real life", he said on Facebook Live. It is the company's virtual reality app, which runs on Oculus Rift headset.
Despite the value of 'safety check, ' it only works if people are connected to the internet.
The Verge's Jacob Kastrenakes described it as a "rather unusual demo of a social platform that doesn't have a clear use yet", adding that Zuckerberg as a cartoon avatar "clearly isn't an ideal way to discuss hurricane relief efforts". When Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, it took out the island's entire electric grid, cutting both communications and access to drinking water. Further, stressing the importance of the Internet, he said that relief workers should be able to coordinate to find out the spot where people are looking for help.
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