IT&Software

Facebook's new way for relief efforts in Puerto Rico

Facebook's new way for relief efforts in Puerto Rico

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is coming under fire after promoting his company's new 3D virtual reality product Facebook Spaces in a way that some critics said exploited the very real disaster that continues to unfold in Hurricane Maria-ravaged Puerto Rico. The smile on Zuckerberg's cartoon avatar as he spoke of the devastation and the work his company has done to help Puerto Ricans check in with loved ones, and to aid in reconnecting the country, completely undercut the gravity of the situation.

Most notably, the entrepreneurial wunderkind detailed how they have been teaming up with the Red Cross by building artificial intelligence which help create population maps, and thus can efficiently allocate resources and assistance. Also, these satellite images would tell the condition of the infrastructure in the affected areas. The pair then high five as they virtually hang over some Puerto Rican devastation. "The terrible taste of this demo shows how far out of his depth Zuckerberg is running Facebook", one Twitter user said. Some other spots they "teleported" to included the surface of the moon and next to Zuckerberg's dog, Beast.

Zuckerberg showed a cartoon avatar of himself imposed on a 360-degree video captured by NPR.

Both Zuckerberg and Franklin were criticismed by viewers for the insensitivity of their comments and the presentation as a whole was called "passerby touristic voyeurism" by users on social media.

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This is pretty exciting news in the world of tech, except it's being overshadowed by the fact that Zuckerberg took a tour of the devastated island of Puerto Rico in order to show users the "magic" of the app.

"This street is really flooded", added Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg also noted that Facebook had already donated more than $1 million to relief efforts. Besides that, Facebook has sent employees to assist in restoring the connectivity of the place, notes Mashable.

But a number of people on the internet, including certain media outlets, are arguing that Zuckerberg's attempt at highlighting his company's advanced technology was tasteless, even offensive. 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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