Facebook’s Vice President of Augmented and Virtual Reality has recommended users “make sure their Facebook accounts are in good standing” before buying an Oculus Quest VR headset.
As previously reported, Oculus announced that users would need to merge their account with a Facebook account from October 2020. If a user does not merge their accounts, they continue using their Oculus account for two years (with support for those accounts ending January 1st 2023).
Judging by the comments to both the tweet and the blog post– users were not happy. Many accused Facebook of inflating their user numbers via merging accounts (or users having to create new ones), and concerns over the privacy of the social media platform.
Facebook also confirmed those who violate their Community Standards and have their account banned “may also lose access” to their Oculus games. These violations also included using a fake name or date of birth.
Even so, Road to VR reported “the company says that users can choose a pseudonym to associate with their VR activities and maintain a list of VR friends that is separate from their Facebook friends.”
Later, some users were reportedly locked out of their brand new Oculus Quest 2 device for being banned from Facebook, and users having created a new Facebook just for playing Quest 2 being banned with 10 minutes or immediately disabled.
A tweet from Oculus Support stated “We’re aware a small number of customers are having trouble using Quest 2 with their Facebook accounts. If you’re one of the few who’s having trouble getting set up, we’re ready and available to help.”
Now, Facebook’s Vice President of Augmented and Virtual Reality Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth has offered users advice (thanks Upload VR!) Taking part in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on his Instagram page (clipped here via Twitter), Bosworth was asked about the Facebook bans and Oculus Quest devices being locked out.
Bosworth responded that Facebook were monitoring the situation “from day one really closely” and “following up with every single individual case that comes across.” Bosworth also recommended people “make sure their Facebook accounts are in good standing- before they buy the headset, they can work through those problems before they do it.”
You can find the full question and answer below.
Question: “Any word on people getting their Facebook accounts banned, making quest useless?”
Bosworth: “Yeah of course, we’ve been tracking this from day one really closely, following up with every single individual case that comes across; the number of cases isn’t large, but of course the impact is huge on those people and we take that really seriously. Every single person in VR matters to us.
I think people should continue to make sure their Facebook accounts are in good standing- before they buy the headset, they can work through those problems before they do it.
And second of all, is we are working really quickly through those and resolving all those issues that come up. They’re Facebook account issues that can be solved and we’re working through them.
But I want to point out this is very common. Google, Apple, Xbox- pick a favorite. They make you sign in with an account and there’s a reason for that. We get to provide better services that way, and stronger guarantees around things like data security, and compliance with regulations. So I’m a big fan of this move, even still.”
The news is of cold comfort to users concerned that are concerned of Facebooks automated algorithms flagging accounts may lose them access to their games. One user of the Oculus Quest subreddit discussed how despite their Facebook account being in good standing, they were always concerned they would be be banned at any time.
“I have this pit in my stomach when I should be having fun,” user yamlCase explains. “Just because I made it doesn’t mean I won’t be banned any minute due to an algo run amok. And so many others having account issues creates such negative energy around this product. Way to create an immersive environment Facebook.”