Facebook Faces Backlash Over Oculus Founder’s Alt-Right Ties

Facebook’s virtual reality (VR) subsidiary Oculus found itself under fire Friday after reports surfaced that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey has been secretly bankrolling a right-wing internet campaign to attack Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Several VR developers even said that they would stop building games for Oculus until Luckey left the company.

News about Luckey’s double life broke when the Daily Beast reported that he has been bankrolling an organization called Nimble America. The group, which recently incorporated, wants to take some of the same Anti-Clinton memes that have been circulating on social media and bring them to a wider audience.

One first example for this is a billboard the group claims to have bought outside of Pittsburgh. It shows Clinton’s portrait along with the slogan “too big to jail.”

Luckey got introduced to the group by alt-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos, according to the Daily Beast. He took to Reddit to write about financing the group, albeit without revealing his real identity, instead writing under the moniker HumbleRichGuy.

“Unfortunately, I have to be careful with any information that could let people figure out my exact identity,”  that Reddit user wrote a week ago. “Our adversaries have enormous power, and the best way I can continue to fight the good fight is to keep doing well in business and funding good causes with the proceeds.”

Now that his identity as the funder of Nimble America has been revealed, Luckey and Oculus are indeed facing a significant backlash. A number of VR developers have publicly taken a position against Luckey’s controversial side gig, and a handful has even threatened to drop support for Oculus Rift if he stayed with the company, according to a Motherboard report.

The controversy comes at a critical time for Oculus. The company is scheduled to hold its developer conference next month, and is getting ready to introduce its Touch controller ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

More Digital

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Netflix Insists It Won't Move Into Selling Advertising

    Netflix wants you to know: It doesn’t have any plans now or in the future to start running commercials on its streaming service. Company execs have have regularly explained that being ad-free is a core part of Netflix’s attractiveness to consumers, and the strategy has been a standard part of its “Long-Term View” mission statement [...]

  • MODEL RELEASED Hand holding iPhone with

    Netflix to Launch Lower-Priced Mobile-Only Plan in India

    Following several months of testing, Netflix is getting ready to officially launch a mobile-only plan in India. Priced significantly below its regular subscription plans, the new plan is meant to help the company better compete with local players like Hotstar. Netflix announced the step in its Q2 2019 earnings letter to investors Wednesday, writing: “We [...]

  • Always Be My Maybe

    'The Perfect Date,' 'Always Be My Maybe' Draw Big Crowds on Netflix

    Rom-coms are working for Netflix: “The Perfect Date,” a romantic comedy starring Noah Centineo from the company’s hit movie “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” has been viewed by 48 million subscriber households in its first four weeks on the service, Netflix revealed Wednesday. And “Always Be My Maybe,” starring Ali Wong and Randall [...]

  • Nintendo Switch

    Nintendo Releases Updated Switch With Better Battery

    Nintendo just refreshed its wildly successful Switch game console, but the company isn’t giving existing Switch owners many reasons to upgrade: The renewed game console comes with a better battery that guarantees up to 9 hours of game play, while otherwise sticking with the same design and features of the original Switch. The new model [...]

  • Ryan Chanantry - Topic SVOD

    First Look Media's Topic Plans to Launch Subscription VOD Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Can Topic execute a solid pivot into premium video? The digital storytelling outlet of Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media thinks it can put together a niche Netflix-style subscription-video service curated to appeal to young “culture cravers.” Topic plans to launch the subscription VOD service in the fourth quarter of 2019, stocked with hundreds of hours [...]

  • Dan Ahdoot

    This New Podcast Lets You Take a Peek Into Celebrities' Fridges (EXCLUSIVE)

    Comedian Dan Ahdoot wants to show you a side of celebrities you haven’t seen before — which is why he is having them open up their fridges. Anyone appearing on Ahdoot’s new podcast “Green Eggs & Dan,” which was launched by the podcast network Podglomerate Wednesday, has to bring along a photo of the inside [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content