Facebook — a company that is equally known for surveilling an enormous swath of people and for accidentally exposing their data in one way or another — shipped “tens of thousands” of its Oculus Touch controllers with some fun hidden messages written inside them, such as “Big Brother is Watching.”
Haha. It’s a joke. About surveillance. From that book? And you know, Facebook is a giant surveillance machine. Hey, where are you going?
Facebook’s head of VR Nate Mitchell confirmed this little whoopsie on Twitter, stating these goofemups — which included other phrases such as “This Space for Rent,” “The Masons Were Here,” and “Hi iFixit! We See You!” — were only intended for prototype units. An inside joke, if you will. Please laugh.
The messages on final production hardware say “This Space For Rent” & “????The Masons Were Here.????” A few dev kits shipped with “????Big Brother is Watching????” and “Hi iFixit! We See You!????” but those were limited to non-consumer units. [2/3] pic.twitter.com/po1qyQ10Um
— Nate Mitchell (@natemitchell) April 12, 2019
The masons are, one imagines, a reference to the Freemasons, a fraternal organisation a number of conspiracy theorists ascribe outsized influence too. (Facebook is among the platforms that have taken flack for helping to spread divisive conspiracist content, so the joke has levels.) Likewise, iFixit is a well-respected tech teardown and repair organisation.