‘DearNothing’ controversy: Why Nothing’s South Indian fan base is unhappy

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Hours after London startup Nothing launched its phone (1), the hashtag “#DearNothing” started to quickly trend in India. Unrelated to the sale, launch event or specs of the smartphone, the hashtag saw a large influx of South Indian tech community taunting and criticizing former OnePlus founder Carl Pei’s new company. .

But what sparked the #DearNothing hashtag on the device’s launch day? And why exactly are fans mad at the company, at least on Twitter? Here’s everything you need to know about the incident.

DearNothing: What really happened?

#DearNothing started spreading after the popular YouTube channel “Prasadtechintelugu” posted a new video on the night of the phone’s launch event (1). The video, meant as a pranksaw the creator unboxing a fake Nothing (1) phone box on screen which turns out to be an empty box with a letter inside.

The video shows the creator unboxing a fake Nothing (1) phone package only to reveal a fake letter inside. (Image source: YouTube)

The letter, also falsesays “Hi Prasad, this device is not for South Indians. Thanks,” with a font that tries to resemble the dotted font used in promotional material by Nothing. The creator made the video to protest against the lack of Nothing(1) phone review units provided to regional content creators in India. It should be noted that sending out review units is entirely the preserve of a company.

However, things quickly went haywire when the screenshot of the fake letter that the unboxing designer began making the rounds on Twitter, where a slew of people, including tech enthusiasts waiting for the Nothing phone (1), mistook the gesture for an official communication from the brand itself.

dear nothing, dear nothing, prasad tech nothing phone 1, The hashtag quickly became one of the most popular hashtags in India. (Image source: Twitter)

The hashtag #DearNothing quickly started trending on Twitter with hundreds of Indian users criticizing Nothing via tweets, for a letter the company never wrote. The misinformation began to take an ugly turn on the platform as users began accusing the London-based company of favoring Hindi creators over regional ones.

Update: Nothing India Managing Director Manu Sharma has now tweeted a new letter addressing the issue. Check it out below.

Sharma mentions in the tweet that the Nothing(1) phone was sent to many regional creators and suggests that more creators were ready to get the phone in a phased manner as is the norm in the industry. He also mentions the fake letter in the YouTube video, adding that it was “misunderstood by many as an official communication” from the company.

“As a new brand, our journey will be full of clumps and bricks. We know that. But misrepresentations and misleading claims are absolutely not acceptable,” Sharma added.

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