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Can someone explain what happened here?

These Twitter threads, like most of them, don't make any sense to me.


The short version is that Naomi Wu was asked to give an interview to Vice. Before doing the interview, she asked that a few ground rules be followed -- as far as I'm aware the main one was that her relationship with her partner not be discussed (as far as I understand the concern was related to a conspiracy theory that Naomi doesn't do her projects herself -- and that her foreign partner does them for her -- which could cause massive political problems for her in China). Vice decided to ask her questions about it anyway, and included those questions in the article (and apparently Naomi didn't know they were going to include them). Naomi then went on to talk about how this was (in her view) a massive breach of ethics, and how it endangered her safety within China (something that she apparently explained to Vice before accepting the interview).

Once the article came out, Naomi tried to get them to remove that section of the article and they didn't respond to any of her emails. She then went on to "dox" one of the reporters (though I have heard that the information she posted was available just by searching his name online).

Sarah Jeong basically attempted to counter this criticism of Vice by saying that she has asked around, and Naomi's concerns are ill-founded (Sarah used to work for Vice, so you could argue that she isn't exactly impartial on this topic). And obviously most media outlets focused on Naomi's doxxing (which to be clear -- is something that shouldn't have been ignored) rather than the original situation with Vice. This evolved into a pretty big argument, and Naomi appears to have come to the conclusion that almost all western media is unethical.

Later Vice apparently asked Patreon to close Naomi's account (as a response to her doxxing one of their employees), and Patreon followed their instructions -- cutting Naomi off from one of her sources of income for her videos. It's apparently very hard to get donations into China (crypto-currencies don't help because you cannot convert them into real money inside China easily).

Hopefully I've explained the situation without letting my position poison the summary.


To be clear, I can't find anything in the Vice article that actually talks about Naomi's relationship, marital status or sexual orientation beyond a cursory question about the conspiracy theory. It seems that Vice followed her wishes up until the point that the conspiracy theory was mentioned (which in Naomi's defense would obviously be upsetting).


So here's the quote from the article[1]:

> In the past few years, she’s been forced to fend off vile and unfounded conspiracy theories on Reddit and 4chan that suggest a white man has masterminded her career

I think that the main concern is that they refer to it specifically as being a foreign man masterminding her career -- not just a general conspiracy theory.

While I understand them wanting to say it's wrong (which is what they are saying), according to Naomi[2] the idea of a "foreign puppet-master" is a dog-whistle in China (which, from what I've heard, has an incredibly protectionist culture). The idea of a figurehead of Shenzhen's maker culture being controlled by a foreigner would apparently not end well for Naomi.

[1]: I'm not going to link it here, just Google "Naomi Wu vice". [2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0dkwwV_iaw&lc=UgxKQJHTXHv9b... -- I don't like this particular YouTuber, but Naomi responds in the comments.


I'm not seeing how what Vice printed (conspiracy theory) goes against what she asked them not to question her about in the tweet screenshot (relationships/orientation).

They might have removed it when she asked, but I don't see how they broke the original agreement.

Also, do I understand that Jeong's only involvement with this was that she commented on the situation after the fact? Or did she have something to do with the original article?


> Or did she have something to do with the original article?

She didn't have anything to do with the original article. She came to the defense of her former colleagues (she used to work for Vice) and claimed that Naomi was manipulating her fanbase into believing that she was in danger when she really wasn't[1].

[1]: https://twitter.com/sarahjeong/status/981575986322989056


Vice come across as a slimey bag of dicks in most of their actions.


Well with a name like vice one can't be too surprised...


Also, it's worth mentioning that Naomi was screwed over by MakerBot's founder before, who publically questioned her existence, describing her as "many personas or persons"

The truth is that these people took one look at Naomi, assumed she was a ditz, a slut, or some kind of animal, and figured they could do whatever they wanted to her. Because, hey, it ain't a crime to slaughter a sow.

They forget too easily that treating people like animals, means becoming an animal.

What a way to lose your humanity.


This person did one of the best summaries of the whole situation that I've seen, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0dkwwV_iaw

I can't vouch too much for the veracity of everything in the video but there's nothing I know of that she got wrong.

EDIT: Just saw that Wu has actually responded to the video in the comments too, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0dkwwV_iaw&lc=UgxKQJHTXHv9b...


I was curious about the context behind this, so I found the response to these accusations: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/981558161566920704.html


This format is unreadable on mobile. There's tons of external content that displays as big white boxes that won't load, and the text alone isn't enough to understand the story.


[flagged]


I flagged this comment because I believe it is far outside of appropriate discussion to dehumanize someone in the way your comment does. For other commenters, the original comment before editing said:

"And now this thing works for the NYTimes."

and after an initial edit, it says:

"And now this... 'person' works for the NYTimes."


> If you flag something, please don't also comment that you did.

Please follow the rules.


It's pretty rich to tell others to follow the rules after you just broke them yourself in a far worse way, and set the thread on fire while doing so. Whether you intended to or not, what you posted amounts to trolling. We ban accounts that do that. Please don't do it again.

Instead, please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and follow the rules in both letter and spirit, regardless of how you feel about journalistic ethics or how badly someone once behaved.


Someone who is posting obvious flamebait does not get to complain about people not following the rules.

zorpner 8 months ago [flagged]

You called another human being a 'thing', and then corrected it to '"person"' (with the quotation marks). And now, of course, you'd like others to follow the rules.

You disgust me, because you are disgusting.


That's egregious. You can't comment like this, regardless of how bad another comment was. Commenters to HN need to either be civil or not post.

These high-dudgeon internet spats would be merely ludicrous if they didn't also have the potential to destroy what little community we have here. Both you and hitekker injected poisons: he by trolling the thread by being vicious while pretending not to, and you with a trope of the aggressive online shaming culture. We've all seen what these things lead to elsewhere, so we have no choice but to ban people if they do them repeatedly here. Please don't.


Then delete the comments. If we're not supposed to respond to something that terrible, don't leave it on the site.


What you're not supposed to do is take someone else's bad comment as a license to violate the rules yourself.

HN does 'delete' comments in one way (flagging by user or moderator), but this is not a complete solution because such comments appear before they are killed.


I flagged this comment because it seems to be an obvious violation of the HN guidelines:

* Eschew flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents.


This isn't flamebait.

We got a softball article about a topic from a publisher who has recently violated the very spirit of that topic.

Hypocrisy is hypocrisy and we should know about it, not hide from it.

Also, to be fair, the guidelines say:

>If you flag something, please don't also comment that you did.


It is flamebait. It has absolutely nothing to do with the article at hand; it just serves to take a cheap shot at a publication the poster doesn't like.




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