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Oculus founder ‘deeply sorry’ for funding pro-Trump ‘shitposting’

The creator of the Oculus Rift has apologised for tarnishing his brand’s reputation after he was outed as having funded a pro-Donald Trump propaganda group.

Yesterday, a Daily Beast report revealed that Palmer Luckey had been financially backing a political organisation dedicated to disparaging Hillary Clinton, Trump’s rival US presidential nominee, by releasing negative posts about her online. In an introductory statement, the group – called Nimble America – wrote: “Shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real”.

But the 24-year-old has now apologised (sort of) for his recent actions in a post on Facebook:

I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners. The recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views. Here’s more background: I contributed $10,000 to Nimble America because I thought the organisation had fresh ideas on how to communicate with young voters through the use of several billboards. I am a libertarian who has publicly supported Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the past, and I plan on voting for Gary in this election as well.”

It turned out that Luckey had been masquerading under the pseudonym ‘NimbleRichMan’ on Reddit, regularly posting to pro-Trump subreddit /r/The_Donald. Here’s an excerpt from a one of Luckey’s posts:
“We know Hillary Clinton is corrupt, a warmonger, a freedom-stripper. Not the good kind you see dancing in bikinis on Independence Day, the bad king that strips freedom from citizens and grants it to donors.”

The Silicon Valley billionaire went on to claim that he’s supported “Donald’s presidential ambitions” for years, and even encouraged him to run in the last election. He also added that anyone who is offended by Nimble America’s activities “cannot stand to see successful people who are proud of their success”.

But in last night’s Facebook post, Luckey addressed those accusations directly:
“I am committed to the principles of fair play and equal treatment. I did not write the “NimbleRichMan” posts, nor did I delete the account. Reports that I am a founder or employee of Nimble America are false. I don’t have any plans to donate beyond what I have already given to Nimble America. Still, my actions were my own and do not represent Oculus. I’m sorry for the impact my actions are having on the community.”

However, Daily Beast report Gideon Resnick, who was responsible for breaking the original story, has since tweeted that Luckey was, in fact, ‘NimbleRichMan’, and even posted a portion of an e-mail chain as apparent proof:

Luckey, a Silicon Valley figurehead, is best known for creating the Oculus Rift, one of the most popular virtual reality headsets on the market. In 2014, he sold the Oculus brand to Facebook for $2 billion, and is now estimated to have a net worth of $700 million.

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What do you think of Luckey’s apology? Let us know in the comments.

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