Big Trouble, Little Samsung

 image source: Samsung
image source: Samsung

Samsung has been in the news a lot lately, and not for a good reason. The mainstream media has jumped at every opportunity to ravage Samsung over every report of exploding phones; often without verifying the source. A new report from China where a man claimed a “safe Galaxy Note 7” exploded while charging, damaging his Macbook Pro and injuring two of his fingers.  The man Hui Renjie was visited by a Samsung representative but declined their offer to inspect his phone because he does not trust them to reveal the true nature of the fire, so he decided to publicize the issue (bloomberg.com)  Now as much as Samsung has botched the recall thus far of the Galaxy Note 7, the media is quick with headlines of “Supposed safe Galaxy Note 7 explodes”. At this point we don’t know whether Mr. Renjie was telling the truth or exactly what occurred. What we do know is these serious accusations can cause irreparable damage to a business. We at Dinosaur Spaceship are not apologist and are beholden by no corporation. But these serious allegations and the media is failing with its shotty journalism. In this age of click bait headlines, media companies and blogs are more concerned with clicks then actual reporting. So instead of using terms like “alleges” or “possible” they simply state “explodes” then as you read along you find more facts about the case. Whenever someone decides to publicize an issue, in this case Mr. Renjie; it is a journalist job to examine the issue more closely. 

So why so much scrutiny into exploding phones to verify validity? The answer is Huawei. The biggest competitor to Samsung in China is Huawei. With constant damaging reports Huawei has much to gain from the demise of Samsung in Huawei’s home country. Now again, that’s not to say Samsung is without fault. Their manufacturing process let them down immensley. If reports are true the issue was caused by a desire to outspec the iPhone 7 then people must be fired. Accountability, must be taken. It is time for an independent party to come in and inspect these phones. Samsung previously stated a third independent party had already verified the safety of the new batteries. Samsung also claimed Chinese Galaxy Note 7’s were not affected because they used different batteries than the models deployed to the United States and other countries. At this point let a third party take control of the inspection of all phones that have reported issues. Mr. Renjie’s decision to publicize the issue instead of having Samsung look over the case is his choice, and his distrust in the company is well founded. But what other steps has Mr. Renjie taken to validate his claim? Corporate sabotage is a real thing and with journalist quickly trying to push out article after article to generate hits they fail to do their jobs properly and lead to a distrust with companies. 

 image source: samsung.com
image source: samsung.com

Though mostly known for their Galaxy line of phones, Samsung is much more than just a smartphone company. Making everything from smartwatches, fitness wearable’s, televisions and even computer chips. Samsung employs thousands and thousands of individuals and is a big part of the South Korean economy. Sympathy for the “corporate overlords” is not what we’re preaching. It’s about remembering the ethics lectures in college, it’s about signing that ethics agreement of doing your research and upholding oneself to higher standards. So while yes this is yet another article on “explode gate” or whatever the media is referring to it as, it is more than that. The death of journalism has long been touted and while that may seem like hyperbole it is not far from the facts. How many websites do you visit that have sourced exterior stories without citations? While we rant on think about that fact more closely. Now most individuals will have no issue with these types of click bait stories. It is our mission here at Dinosaur Spaceship to uphold those ethics college courses installed in our brains. Not solely for the sake of journalism but for those individuals whose livelihood depends on Samsung performing well. We should all want Samsung to bounce back from this catastrophe. Samsung is Apple’s biggest competitor. If Samsung were to exit the smartphone industry innovation would stall and we would be left to hope Apple has the courage to innovate. Though we’re not discussing Apple here, competition fuels innovation, in this case it seems the desire to compete was Samsungs’ Achilles heel. Heads must roll for this colossal error, investigations must be made but most importantly “explode gate” must be resolved. When the safety of consumers is jeopardized authorities need to step in and take the reigns from Samsung. If this was as Mr. Jenjies’ intention all along than kudos. But shame to media for capitalizing on this “opportunity”, though if this past election cycle has taught us anything, it’s that the media has no shame when it comes to ratings.