Mark Zuckerberg apologises for awkward VR tour of disaster zone

Mr Zuckerberg attempts a virtual high five.
Mr Zuckerberg attempts a virtual high five. Photo credit: Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg has apologised after using hurricane damage in Puerto Rico to showcase his virtual reality software.

Mr Zuckerberg was joined by Facebook Head of Social Reality, Rachel Rubin Franklin, as he toured around different parts of the island as it recovers from Hurricane Maria.

Ms Rubin and Mr Zuckerberg spoke about the immersive nature of VR and how it was "Crazy to feel like we're in the middle of it" while they appeared in the middle of a flooded street.

The pair intended to use the trip to describe some of their work to aid relief to Puerto Rico, but moved on after devoting 90 seconds of the nearly 10 minute video to describing how Facebook has been helping with relief.

Once the tour was done they moved on to an auditorium where Mr Zuckerberg continued discussing opportunities for VR.

Social media users were displeased with Mr Zuckerberg's use of a humanitarian disaster to advertise his technology and cartoon characters high fiving in front of hurricane wreckage.

 Mr Zuckerberg chose Facebook to respond to criticisms, replying to comments on the video directly.

He wrote: "One of the most powerful features of VR is empathy. My goal here was to show how VR can raise awareness and help us see what's happening in different parts of the world.

"Reading some of the comments, I realise this wasn't clear, and I'm sorry to anyone this offended."