Facebook's new way for relief efforts in Puerto Rico

Image MARK ZUCKERBERG  FACEBOOK

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has visited Puerto Rico in virtual reality.

"One of the things that is really magical about VR is that you can get the feeling you are really in a place", he added, before going on to remark on the suffering residents of Puerto Rico have experienced. Because that could actually be helpful?

This is pretty exciting news in the world of tech, except it's being overshadowed by the fact that Zuckerberg took a tour of the devastated island of Puerto Rico in order to show users the "magic" of the app.

A cartoonish Mark Zuckerberg avatar made an announcement through Facebook Spaces.

Using the VR platform known as Facebook Spaces to transport himself to Puerto Rico, Zuckerberg and social VR chief Rachel Franklin discussed the wonders of their technology, including its proprietary Oculus Rift headset. "There's a lot of people who are using Spaces.to do interviews and Q&As in VR, and to go places that it wouldn't be possible to necessarily go or definitely would be a lot harder to go in real life", he said on Facebook Live. The company is taking help of artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to determine areas to provide aid. The pair then high five as they virtually hang over some Puerto Rican devastation.

Most notably, the entrepreneurial wunderkind detailed how they have been teaming up with the Red Cross by building artificial intelligence which help create population maps, and thus can efficiently allocate resources and assistance.

Both Zuckerberg and Franklin were criticismed by viewers for the insensitivity of their comments and the presentation as a whole was called "passerby touristic voyeurism" by users on social media.

The Facebook CEO noted that Internet connectivity is crucial for people caught in the middle of such situations so that they can convey messages with their loved ones.

Facebook has donated $1.5 million to the relief effort, the CEO said.

Many citizens in the US-territory are still without power and water three weeks after Hurricane Maria struck the island, and US President Donald Trump has consistently downplayed the damage caused, thus inhibiting relief efforts.

Needless to say, many weren't happy with the use of disaster relief to sell a product.

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