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Whoops! Facebook printed ‘Big Brother Is Watching’ inside VR controllers

Facebook has apologised for a mistake that saw cryptic messages printed inside tens of thousands of Oculus Touch virtual reality controllers.

The company says ‘Easter egg’ items designed for dev units actually made it into production, meaning messages like “Big Brother is Watching”, “The Masons Were Here”, and “Hi iFixit! We See You” will appear in consumer units.

The co-founder of Oculus and the head of VR at Facebook took to Twitter, on Friday, to apologise for the inappropriate messages.

Related: Oculus Rift S review

Nate Mitchell wrote: “Unfortunately, some “Easter egg” labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers.

“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.”

“While I appreciate Easter eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed. The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we’ve fixed our process so this won’t happen again.”

oculus touch mistake

Image credit: Nate Mitchell / Twitter

Because the messages were printed inside the controllers, it’s highly unlikely most Rift users will even see them, unless they decide to deconstruct the handheld Touch peripherals.

A Facebook spokesperson said these devices haven’t even shipped yet. However, the company has no plans to put those controllers on the scrapheap; they’ll go out to consumers with the messages printed inside anyway.

The spokesperson told Business Insider: “To be clear, no devices have been sold with these messages yet, since Quest and Rift S have not yet shipped. That said, as mentioned in Nate’s tweet, the messages will be inside tens of thousands of controller pairs that will ship to consumers when Quest and Rift S ship.”

Some of them might even end up as collectors items. However, for Facebook, having “Big Brother is Watching” printed within devices that are shipping to customers might prove a little too on-the-money, given the recent privacy scandals engulfing the under-fire social network.

Do you trust Facebook with your personal data? Or is Facebook the Big Brother that really is watching? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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