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Palmer Luckey Releases Facebook Statement On Nimble America Activities

Confirms donation, denies being account holder. Original reporter of story counters.

You are likely at this point to have seen the main story from yesterday, in which news outlet The Daily Beast revealed that Palmer Luckey was a secret benefactor to Nimble America. A so-called ‘shitposting’ group, who use memes and similar internet-style advertising or impactful methods to spread support for US Presidential candidate Donald Trump. Or alternatively spread negative messaging against Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton, depending upon the situation.

Palmer Luckey

Luckey’s name was also tied to an account on the r/The_Donald subreddit through which he was alleged to have made a number of claims.

He has this morning however, some 24 hours after the original story broke, taken to Facebook to issue a statement confirming some aspects of the story and denying others.

“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.” Luckey writes.

“Here’s more background: I contributed $10,000 to Nimble America because I thought the organization 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.”

“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.”

As Luckey mentioned a portion of the general virtual reality (VR) community weren’t too pleased with the story. Either disagreeing with the idiology of the decision to support Trump or the way in which such support was being given. The result was that scrutiny fell on not just Luckey but upon Oculus themselves. One of those who tried to make a constructive direction to the original story was E McNeill, developer of cyberhacking VR title Darknet. McNeill had donated $1000 (USD) and encouraged other disgruntled developers to help redress the balance through donations or similar actions. An offer some devs took up.

Speaking this morning on Twitter in response to Luckey’s statement, McNeill said for him not much had changed.

There is also perhaps one last twist in the story. One of the reporters who worked on the The Daily Beast piece, Gideon Resnick, has taken to Twitter in response to Luckey’s statement. Sticking by the original claims and showing portions of emails to back them up.

Whatever happens from here on out, it seems that despite the statement from Luckey the rumblings about this are likely to continue going for a while yet. Which in the run up to Oculus Connect 3 and with both Oculus Rift coming out at retail in a number of locations and Oculus Touch finally on the horizon is a distraction both Oculus and Luckey could very much do without.

VRFocus will keep you up to speed with any additional developments. Until then be sure to check back throughout the weekend for a number of stories and articles on the continued developments of both VR and augmented reality (AR).

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