Facebook mistakenly prints Oculus Touch controllers with cryptic messages

The VR controllers will come with phrases like "This Space For Rent" and "The Masons were here" printed on them.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
VR Oculus

You might notice something weird if you ordered controllers with your Oculus VR headset.

T3 Magazine/Getty Images

Facebook might've gone a bit too 1984 this time.

The company accidentally printed several weird phrases onto its Touch controllers that'll come with its Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S VR headsets. The messages read "This Space For Rent" and "The Masons Were Here." A few developer kits shipped with the phrases "Big Brother is Watching" and "Hi iFixit! We See You!"

"Unfortunately, some 'easter egg' labels meant for prototypes accidentally made it onto the internal hardware for tens of thousands of Touch controllers," Nate Mitchell, Oculus ' co-founder, tweeted on Friday. Mitchell went on to say the messages were inappropriate and should've been removed. Facebook owns Oculus. 

"The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we've fixed our process so this won't happen again," Mitchell said.

"[T]hese messages were inside our Touch controllers for the upcoming [Oculus] Quest and Rift S headsets. We've already removed the messages from hardware moving forward, but tens of thousands of consumer units will contain these messages when Quest and Rift S ship in the spring," Facebook representative Johanna Peace said in an email. 

Peace said the company has conducted a full review of what happened and examined its processes across the board to see what could be improved.

Originally published April 12, 4:17 p.m. PT.
Correction, 4:32 p.m. PT: This story originally misstated the phrases that would be on the controllers being sold to the public. The devices being sold publicly will say "This Space For Rent" and "The Masons Were Here."

Watch this: First look at Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S