Opinion: The Relationship Model Is Killing Venture CapitalRead Now

Art by Mike Sullivan
Nov. 12, 2021 6:01 AM PST

In late January, a Facebook employee posted a troubling message in a discussion group for employees in the unit developing augmented and virtual reality products.

The unnamed employee said they were subjected to a racist tirade while playing Rec Room, a popular game on Facebook’s Oculus Quest VR headset, the night before. Another player directed the slurs at the employee for several minutes, but the employee couldn’t identify the abuser and report them, which they said was partly due to the way Oculus’ app platform operates. “Our lack of integrity requirements lets racism thrive in VR,” the Facebook employee wrote.

Another Facebook employee responded, saying reports about similar issues popped up “like clockwork” every “7 or 8 weeks” within Facebook, and something should be done to fix it. A third employee said they had a similar experience that “made me leave the game.”

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