Facebook ships VR controllers with hidden messages

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Mitchell's statement goes on to apologise for these Easter eggs slipping past the prototype phase and into production, calling them "inappropriate" and saying their internal processes have been changed to avoid this happening again. He added that a small number of development kits included the messages "Big Brother is Watching" or "Hi iFixit!"

Facebook accidentally added some "easter egg" labels on tens of thousands of Oculus Touch controllers, including such phrases as "Big Brother is Watching" and "This Space For Rent".

Other phrases include "Hi iFixit!"

IFixit is a group-sourced online fix manual and parts company that aims to teach consumers to fix their own electronics and reduce waste. Mitchell acknowledged that these messages were "inappropriate and should have been removed".

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

Hidden inside the Touch controllers are messages like, "This Space For Rent", and "The Masons Were Here". An Oculus spokesperson has since confirmed that in his tweets, Mitchell was referring to the controllers for the upcoming Quest and Rift S virtual reality headsets, not the original ones shipped in 2016.

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. Business Insider previously reported that the company restructured its AR-glasses division late a year ago as it inches closer to launching a commercial product.

Even still, Facebook representative Johanna Peace said affected units would not be recalled once they're shipped, which makes plenty of sense seeing as those messages won't affect how the product performs at all. "We think it's important to be transparent with our community and take responsibility when there's an error". (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

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