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Mobile Phone Company Nothing Issued Letter Saying Phone Not For South Indian People? Viral Claim Is False

The launch of the new phone by ‘Nothing’, a new venture by one of the co-founders of OnePlus, Carl Pei, has run into a major controversy after social media users shared an image of a letter that says that the product is not for ‘south Indians’. 

Users have taken to Twitter to express their anger,  with the hashtag #DearNothing trending in India.

The image has been shared on Twitter by user @SaiAppaneni which has garnered 2,765 likes and 2,741 retweets on the platform.

Newschecker found similar claims on Twitter with different captions.

Also Read: Did India Nosedive ‘From 3rd Largest Economy In 2011 To 164th in 2021’? Know The Truth Here

Fact Check /Verification

We started our investigation by conducting a keyword search with the words “Nothing Phone”, “South India” on Google and found an article by Indian Express titled ‘DearNothing’ controversy: Why Nothing’s South Indian fanbase is unhappy uploaded on 13th July, 2022.

According to the article, The hashtag “#DearNothing” started trending swiftly in India a few hours after the London-based business Nothing (1) unveiled their phone. 

“Unrelated to the purchase, launch, or features of the smartphone, the hashtag had a significant influx of comments from the South Indian tech community mocking and criticising former OnePlus founder Carl Pei’s new business,” the article read.

The article further states that following the release of a new video by the well-known YouTube channel “Prasadtechintelugu” on the evening of the phone (1) launch ceremony, the hashtag “#DearNothing” quickly gained popularity. The video saw the creator unboxing a fake Nothing phone (1) box on-screen which turns out to be an empty box with a letter inside. 

The letter says “Hi Prasad, this device is not for South Indian people. Thank you,” complete with a font that tries to resemble the dotted font used across promotional material by Nothing. The creator made the video protesting the lack of Nothing phone (1) review units provided to regional content creators in India.

Upon further investigation, Newschecker found a Youtube video which has now been made private by Telugu tech-based Youtuber ‘Prasadtechintelugu’ who has 2.94 million subscribers on the platform.

Courtesy: Youtube/Prasadtechintelugu

In the video, at around the 20 second mark the Youtuber seems to be reading a letter saying “Hi Prasad, this device is not for South Indian people. Thank you“.

Newschecker checked the comments for the authenticity of this letter and found that the Youtuber Prasadtechintelugu had pinned a comment in the comments section with a disclaimer which said “Please Note –  0:24  the screenshot is for representation purpose and not an original communication from Nothing team”.

Courtesy: Youtube/Prasadtechintelugu

Youtuber Prasadtechintelugu added further clarification on his Twitter after stills from the video went viral. Responding to the clarification provided by the Nothing company, Prasadtechintelugu wrote “It is Sad that our Msg got Misunderstood as tech creators we are always looking to support young technology brands like @nothing i have already clarified that letter never came from the brand. the video was for overall industry scenario #LetsBePositive”

Conclusion

Newschecker’s investigation reveals that the letter saying ‘Nothing Phone is not for South Indian people’ is a letter created by Youtuber Prasadtechintelugu meant for representational purposes and not an official communication from the Nothing team.

Result: False

Our Sources

Indian Express report, ‘DearNothing’ controversy: Why Nothing’s South Indian fanbase is unhappy, (12th July, 2022)

Archive link of Youtube video by channel Prasadtechintelugu

Screenshot of comments section of Youtube video by channel Prasadtechintelugu

Tweet By @iamprasadtech, Dated July 13, 2022


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Vaibhav Bhujang
Vaibhav Bhujang
Vaibhav is a part of Newschecker’s English team, where he spots and debunks all kinds of misinformation, making the rounds on the internet. A Journalism graduate from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, he holds an M.A degree in Philosophy and an M.Phil from Delhi University.
Vaibhav Bhujang
Vaibhav Bhujang
Vaibhav is a part of Newschecker’s English team, where he spots and debunks all kinds of misinformation, making the rounds on the internet. A Journalism graduate from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, he holds an M.A degree in Philosophy and an M.Phil from Delhi University.

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