New Oculus VR controllers accidentally include freakish hidden messages

Facebook accidentally shipped "tens of thousands" of virtual reality (VR) controllers with freakish hidden messages, including "Big Brother is Watching" and "The Masons Were Here". "We see you" labels cited by Mitchell appear to have been isolated to dev kits - early versions of hardware shipped to developers interested in working with Oculus Touch - while the "This Space for Rent" and "The Masons Were Here" can supposedly be found inside "tens of thousand" retail Oculus Touch controllers. "We see you!" was also included. Originally meant for internal prototype use only, Oculus accidentally inscribed these messages onto the controllers which have shipped in tens of thousands of products that will hit up for sales in a few days. In his three-tweet thread, Mitchell details the nature of the Easter eggs, and the intent behind them. "The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we've fixed our process so this won't happen again", Mitchell tweeted.

While the vast majority of Oculus owners will never take apart their controllers and find the messages, news of the hidden content will nearly certainly raise eyebrows given Facebook's already tarnished public image.

Facebook is set to launch two new VR products - the $399 standalone Oculus VR system and the $399 PC-tethered Oculus Rift S.

The messages are emblazoned on the "flex" portion of the Touch controllers, Business Insider reported. By the time Oculus discovered the messages, it was too late, as they had already been printed into consumer hardware meant for the market.

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"To be clear, no devices have been sold with these messages yet, since Quest and Rift S have not yet shipped", Johanna Peace, an Oculus representative, said.

While most users of the Touch controller will never see the hidden messages, it's an awkward misstep for Facebook, which has faced sustained criticism on privacy issues for more than a decade.

It's likely that the "Big Brother" message was most alarming for Facebook, as the social media company has been under heavy scrutiny lately for its practices of collecting personal data, not to mention its many privacy failures.

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