Oculus Founder Supports Trump, Feels Backlash - NBC Bay Area

Oculus Founder Supports Trump, Feels Backlash

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    Oculus Founder Supports Trump, Feels Backlash

    This isn't the kind of tech support we usually talk about in Silicon Valley. Scott Budman reports. (Published Friday, Sept. 23, 2016)

    This isn’t the kind of tech support we usually talk about in Silicon Valley.

    Palmer Luckey, who turned his Oculus Rift headset into a company (Oculus) and a bonanza (selling to Facebook for $2 billion) is under fire — not for his technology, but for his politics.

    Luckey admitted to The Daily Beast that he supports Donald Trump, and has – up to now – anonymously funded a group posting anti-Hillary Clinton memes online.

    The backlash has been swift, with developers vowing not to work with Oculus, and consumers suddenly deciding not to buy a Rift.

    "It’s against the conventional wisdom," says former politician and techie Jim Cunneen, who pointed out that he too is a Republican.

    He’s right. It is rare for a young techie to support the right.

    But is it an overreaction?

    Yes, says Andrew Torba, the chief executive officer of Gab, a Silicon Valley social network.

    "Today we’re seeing him blanketed as a racist and a white supremacist, and that's scary to me," Torba said.

    NBC Bay Area reached out to Oculus and Luckey, who declined to comment for the story.

    Luckey did, however, post on Twitter: "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."

    Scott is on Twitter: @scottbudman

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