An embattled Facebook finds itself embroiled in another controversy of their own making just one week after the Parkland shooting, reports Variety.
Last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School, in which 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 students and teachers, has reignited the debate surrounding gun reform in America. Survivors of the attack have called for a national boycott of the National Rifle Association and are in the midst of planning the largest student protest in modern U.S. history next month. During a town hall meeting hosted by CNN, surviving members of the Parkland shooting grilled NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, not mincing words in their denunciation of the pro-gun group and its role in the mass shootings.
In response to the boycott, several leading advertisers pulled out of their sponsorship of the NRA, provoking strong comments from its executive vice president Wayne La Pierre at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a confluence of conservative activists, NRA donors, and gun enthusiasts.
“As usual, the opportunists waited not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain.”
“They hate the NRA. The elites don’t care one wit about school children. If they truly cared, they would protect them.”
LaPierre even went on to suggest that socialism was on the rise in America, urging gun lobbyists not to succumb to the increasing pressure by gun reform advocates.
At the conference where LaPierre was warning NRA members of the socialist drive of the gun reform movement, Facebook was offering attendees a virtual reality experience of a new first-person action shooter game called Bullet Train.
According to the developer of the violent first-person shooter experience, Epic Games, “players assume the role of an agent in an infiltration simulation set inside a train station where they must blast through resistance force,” reports Vice.
Offering a first-person shooter game at a conference of gun lovers a week after the Parkland massacre did not sit well with gun reformists. Facebook was instantly slammed for its insensitivity and the company was forced to give an apology. Facebook’s VP of VR, Hugo Barra, told Mashable that the company offers such experiences at trade fairs and conferences, but said it “regretted” doing the same in light of the Parkland shootings, reports Mashable.
“A few of the action games can include violence. In light of the recent events in Florida and out of respect for the victims and their families, we have removed them from this demo. We regret that we failed to do so in the first place,” he said.