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.
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.
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”.
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”
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.
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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