Facebook removed a virtual reality shooting game demonstration after facing backlash over the timing of showcasing the game one week after the Parkland, Fla., shootings.
The company let visitors at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday test its Oculus Rift VR technology which included a first-person shooter video game.
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 while the country is reeling from the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., last week, where 17 people were killed.
Unless Facebook is charging CPAC attendees $5 to play & donating that money to gun safety organizations, this might be one demo to pull given circumstances… https://t.co/SLcIUINwzX
— ☕️ (@hunterwalk) February 23, 2018
Facebook is setting up a booth in the CPAC exhibit hall.
Two attendees just told me they saw proof on Facebook this morning that the Parkland students are crisis actors. Facebook reps here told me they’re not going to talk about that. pic.twitter.com/vJCYLGfkBA
— Kira Lerner (@kira_lerner) February 22, 2018
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.