Assessing Impact of Media

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Zuckerberg showcases the problems with virtual “empathy”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg faced intense criticism when an advertisement for Facebook Spaces, Facebook’s virtual reality initiative, featured him virtually experiencing hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. Other philanthropic initiatives have endeavored to use virtual reality to increase empathy, but this strategy runs the risk of having the opposite effect: “Virtual reality technology may present a new and remarkable way of acquiring information about remote places, but it is clear that this technology also runs the risk of commodifying human suffering.”

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