Zuckerberg criticised following 'virtual tour' of Puerto Rico

Mark Zuckerberg has live streamed a virtual reality tour of hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico. The social networking mogul explored a number of locations using an Occulus Rift headset and Facebook's Spaces app broadcasting the experience to his followers

Both of the executives were demonstrating Facebook's Spaces virtual reality app in which people can chit-chat, play games, and interact with each other in digital worlds.

The tech tycoon - streaming from Facebook's campus in Menlo Park, California - then announced that the company is partnering with the Red Cross to use artificial intelligence (AI) to assist with relief efforts in the devastated South American country.

After discussing Facebook's contributions to Puerto Rico, Zuckerberg and Franklin transported themselves to the Moon and to Zuckerberg's living room to see his dog - all in virtual reality. Moreover, they also announced the creation of population maps using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Moreover, it will help people determine their location and density in those places.

While the video was presumably meant to raise awareness for the damage in Puerto Rico (as well as tease that Facebook will be having its fourth-annual developer conference for VR on Wednesday, Oculus Connect), it came off as a tone-deaf exercise. The live-stream saw Zuckerberg and Rachel Franklin, head of social VR at Facebook, represented as cartoon avatars in flooded areas of the United States territory, where citizens are still struggling to access clean water, electricity and other necessities in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The timing of his virtual visit isn't entirely altruistic: Facebook's VR conference, Oculus Connect 4, kicks off on Wednesday US time.

The demo has repeatedly been called "tone deaf", since Zuckerberg and Facebook's head of social virtual reality, Rachel Franklin, were showing their avatars smiling and high-fiving against a backdrop of flooded areas and people cleaning up debris.

Safety Check feature will help its users to convey about their safety to their friends.

Facebook has donated $1.5 million to organizations working for hurricane relief such as the World Food Program. He said his company had already sent several employees to the island to help ensure networks were operating properly.

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.