Oculus co-founder is funding a pro-Trump meme group

Updated to reflect Palmer Luckey’s statement. See below.

Peter Thiel is not alone. There’s another tech figure who’s pro-Donald Trump.

Palmer Luckey, the wealthy co-founder of Facebook-owned VR company Oculus, has been funding a group dedicated to circulating anti-Hillary Clinton memes.

On Reddit, Nimble America called itself a “social welfare 501(c)4 non-profit dedicated to (expletive)posting in real life.” Among the accomplishments the group is touting: a billboard outside Pittsburgh that featured Clinton’s face along with the words “Too Big To Jail.” The group also boasted of “conquering Reddit” and the mainstream media.

Luckey seemed to be trying to hedge a bit when he told the Daily Beast that he only funded Nimble America because he has “plenty of money” and “it sounded like a real jolly good time.”

But the Daily Beast wrote that Luckey was listed as the group’s vice president on its website. (The website no longer lists a VP.) In addition, Luckey told the Daily Beast that he wrote the following under the Reddit pseudonym of NimbleRichMan:

The American Revolution was funded by wealthy individuals. The same has been true of many movements for freedom in history. You can’t fight the American elite without serious firepower. They will outspend you and destroy you by any and all means.

Another post by NimbleRichMan that’s since been deleted includes this: “We know Hillary Clinton is corrupt, a warmonger, a freedom-stripper.”

Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. Luckey, 24, whose virtual-reality headset first got attention on Kickstarter, is said to have a net worth of $700 million.

Luckey and Thiel both have ties to Facebook. Facebook has not yet returned SiliconBeat’s requests for comment, but The Verge says the company confirmed that Luckey still works at Facebook.

Thiel, a billionaire early investor in the social network and who sits on its board, professed his support for the Republican presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention over the summer.

Thiel is the highest-profile Trump supporter in the tech industry — a standout in Silicon Valley, where many tech executives, such as Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, have spoken out loudly against Trump over his views and rhetoric on immigration, race, gender and more. The Trump campaign has slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has criticized Trump’s famous anti-immigration wall but has not mentioned him by name.

Update: An Oculus spokesman sent us a link to Luckey’s Facebook post Friday night, in which he says he donated $10,000 to Nimble America but that “the recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views.” He says he’s voting for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.

He denied writing the NimbleRichMan posts, as the Daily Beast reported, although one of the Daily Beast reporters who wrote the story tweeted out emails in which Luckey says he did.

“I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners,” Luckey wrote in his Facebook post. Some VR developers had tweeted that they wouldn’t support Facebook’s Oculus Rift VR headset because of the news.

Luckey says he donated  to Nimble America “because I thought the organization had fresh ideas on how to communicate with young voters through the use of several billboards.”

End update.

 

Photo: Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey holds up the new Oculus Rift virtual reality headset after a news conference in San Francisco on June 11, 2015. (Eric Risberg/AP)

 

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  • skisok

    Luckey and Theil are POS.

    • Robert Dennis

      Real intelligent post.

      • skisok

        Thanks for the complement.

      • skisok

        All Trump supporters are corrupt because they are just like him.

  • ABC

    You can recognize the truth–that HRC is a corrupt, lying, incompetent drain on the American taxpayer–and also criticize Trump–who is a self absorbed blow hard. This election is a race to the bottom, but Trump is the 17th best choice and Hillary is the 19th…..

    • skisok

      He’s no less corrupt if not more. But he is also a moron.

      • ABC

        Silly comments. You can’t be a moron and turn a million into a billion. I think he is less corrupt only in that he buys politicians rather than selling his public service as she has. Her and Bill went from “dead broke” 15 years ago to being worth 125 million without creating a business or doing anything productive. The Clinton Foundation is a pure money laundering scheme. And she has a much longer history of selling public services, from Travelgate to the State Department favors. She is far worse in a world with 4 bad choices for president.

        • skisok

          He was born into money and has ripped off a lot of contractors he has dealt with. If any comment is silly, it is yours.

        • skisok

          Anyone who stuffs people is a jerk and a moron. If anyone has stupid comments, it is you.

  • DL2014

    Y’know, I really like tech. I am less enthusiastic about “tech stars” getting political. They must realize that by taking sides in a contentious and polarized political environment they are effecting their brand –right? WWJD. What Would Jobs Do?

  • jeffmaz
 
 
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