Facebook apologizes for virtual shooting game demo at CPAC

Facebook apologizes for virtual shooting game demo at CPAC
© Greg Nash

Facebook removed a virtual reality shooting game demonstration after facing backlash over the timing of showcasing the game one week after the Parkland, Fla., shooting.

The company let visitors at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday test its Oculus Rift virtual reality technology, which included a first-person shooter video game.

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Hugo Berra, Facebook’s vice president of virtual reality, apologized in a statement and said that the company would remove the game from its demo.

“There is a standard set of experiences included in the Oculus demos we feature at public events. A few of the action games can include violence,” he said. “In light of the recent events in Florida and out of respect for the victims and their families, we have removed them from this demo. We regret that we failed to do so in the first place.”

Social media users on Twitter criticized the company’s demo after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., last week, where 17 people were killed.

The company is facing criticism over use of its platform to spread conspiracy theories about the survivors of the shooting. Some users are spreading the false theory that students who are now acting as activists are paid actors.

Facebook has said that it will work to curb misinformation on its website.