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SumOfUS.org removes false claim from Apple petition after collecting signatures

post #1 of 89
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A petition drive run by SumOfUs.org, seeking to collect signatures prior to Apple's shareholder meeting today, has removed a primary claim it alleged against the company, substituting other deceptive wording after collecting tens of thousands of names with its original, very misleading allegations.

The original wording of petition that SumOfUs.org distributed described described "a young girl" who "spends those hours inhaling n-hexane, a potent neurotoxin used to clean iPhone glass, because it dries a few seconds faster than a safe alternative. After just a few years on the line, she will be fired because the neurological damage from the n-hexane and the repetitive stress injuries to her wrists and hands make her unable to continue performing up to standard," it said, in wording that continues to appear on the web.

The petition's claims that suggested Apple requires workers to use the toxic chemical n-hexane to clean iPhone screens because it is "faster than a safe alternative" were actually derived from Apple's own Supplier Responsibility report, which in reality documented action the company took to stop the use of the chemical last year.


SumOfUs looks to deliver 90,000-100,000 names on a Chinese labor rights petition to Apple Stores on Thursday. Source: SumOfUs


Wintek, the company that had used it, ended up paying workers for serious damages they suffered after violent riots broke out in protest over the issue.

Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, an executive director of SumOfUs.org, stated in a press release today that “Apple has a moral obligation to fully compensate workers like Guo Rui-Qiang and Jia Jing-Chuan" who were exposed to the chemical by Wintek, and said Apple had "to take the hard steps required make sure that tragedies like this never happen again,” despite Apple's published report documenting that it had already required Wintek to take preventive action.

Apple noted in its public report earlier this year that "we required the facility to discontinue use of n-hexane, to fix the factory’s ventilation systems, and to implement improvements to their management systems for Environmental Health and Safety."

After collecting tens of thousands of signatures, SumOfUs.org quietly changed the wording of the petition to read that the young worker "spends those hours inhaling isopropanol, a toxin used to clean iPhone glass. After just a few years on the line, she will be fired because the repetitive stress injuries to her wrists and hands have made them useless." (Emphasis theirs).

The petition not only drops alleged claims of the continued use of n-hexane, but substitutes "isopropanol," which it describes as a "toxin," despite it actually being the chemical name of common "rubbing alcohol," something that American parents commonly use to sterilize the ear piercings of their young children.

Alcohol was also the "safer alternative" that SumOfUs implied Apple refused to use to save time at the expense of worker's health. The petition continues to state that repetitive stress injuries alone would cause a worker to left with "useless" hands and wrists, a claim originally tied to toxic exposure with n-hexane, which actually can cause neurological damage.

SumOfUs.org has advertised efforts to organize a protest at the Apple campus this morning, asking for "visuals" to include "Apple consumers dressed as iPhones, with Apple products and posters echoing Apple’s taglines (e.g., 'iWant An Ethical iPhone')."

SumOfUs.org is coordinating its campaign with Mark Shields, who portrays himself as a concerned Apple customer but who is actually a director at the Washington DC based Spitfire Strategies, "a consulting firm offering advice on strategic communications and campaign planning for a wide range of non-profits and foundations," which describes itself as "dedicated to helping nonprofits and foundations create and implement high impact communications programs to achieve their social change goals."

Rather than focusing on n-hexane, Shields' independent petition, run by Change.org, demands that Apple "release a worker protection strategy for new product releases," alleging that the company's product scheduling results in spikes of repetitive stress injuries and suicides, despite being unable to offer any data to back up the claims.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 89
These petitions are not about any concrete attempts to change anything at all. They are just about making North Americans feel less guilty about their lifestyle, or superior to their neighbours who perhaps haven't signed them. They are absolutely idiotic on many levels.
post #3 of 89
Sounds like macosrumors rewriting what they posted every time a new Apple product is released because they were lying through their teeth the entire time.

Originally Posted by Marvin

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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #4 of 89
I am surprised that glass is cleaned by hand. It seems this is a simple task that a machine could do faster and better without repetitive strain.
post #5 of 89
Disgusting. Where is the 'ethics' in changing the contents of a petition after they've been signed? Isn't that like, illegal? And isopropanol is now a 'toxic substance'? I inhaled that stuff for YEARS in my university labs, can I get a petition too? At my protest I want people dressed up as kangaroos and koalas though.
post #6 of 89
Isopropanol sounds much scarier than rubbing alcohol.
post #7 of 89
It's difficult to put into words how unethical SumOfUs.org's actions are. It really is outrageous.

I also haven't seen anywhere an analysis of SumOfUs.org's central claims that allude to the toxicity of n-hexane. They make it sound like some of the most evil stuff on earth and that only a maniac would make anyone work with it.

However, according to wikipedia, n-hexane is usually considered "non-toxic"; it is long term exposure to high levels of n-hexane that is the problem. A bit like how drinking too much water can in fact kill you; does that mean that nobody should have to work with water on a production line? It's possible that n-hexane could be used if adequate protection were provided but it's probably cheaper just to use a less toxic substitute, which Wintek has now done.
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post #8 of 89
I hope Apple sues them into oblivion.
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post #9 of 89
sumofus is just crap.

their websites states they base their petitions on 'news reports'. News reports!
Like their first anti apple petition was based on the notorious NYT anti apple hit piece, the article which 'sources' immediately wrote open letters to the paper to refute statements attributed to them.

They made all kinds of statements like child slaves in Foxconn etc and then when the FLA stated that the factory is better than the norm and ABC finds no children working there they start an anti FLA anti ABC smear campaign.

Their 'poison killing workes' now found to be rubbing alcohol is another indication of their crap.

They are hit whores who highlight apple as hiting Apple gets them publicity and it's good for their business and it is a 'business'-- 'Donate' on the website is as prominent as 'Petition'. PCs had 90% market share for years in the same or (according to the Chinese themselves) worse factories than Apple's. Go try to find Lenovo's audit disclosures. Where's sumofus dozens of petitons against Acer, Asus , Dell etc. ?

somebody should start an organization to petition against people like SumofUs.
post #10 of 89
Screw SumofThem.
post #11 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I am surprised that glass is cleaned by hand. It seems this is a simple task that a machine could do faster and better without repetitive strain.

I think it all goes down to cost! It may be cheaper to hire someone to do it than to invest in a robot and electricity etc. This also may have the effect of having to change the manufacturing line somewhere up or down the line to have more robots and the list goes on.

I think if they start modernising the manufacturing line, then they could lose their edge over other countries like Brazil.

Saying that, I agree with you! We need more automation on the line
post #12 of 89
Jeez, I used to enjoy AppleInsider, but their continuing inability to proofread anything they post really is bugging the crap outa me! Is it that hard to go over yr own words?!!
post #13 of 89
If they changed the wording then all the original signatures should be null and void, period!
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post #14 of 89
These are the NGOs. People are working for ngos as a career. They prey on many idiots and uninformed people among us. They will attack any government, company, or nation. Egypt has noticed this and taking action toward the ngos. But any weaker government, company, or nation many crumple because of them. The stronger will survive like US. This is why US welcomes ngos. Unfortunately this time they choose to attack Apple. They do not know Apple is different than any other government, company, or nation. And this is why Apple has become the most valuable company. Many people are scratching their head and could not understand. I think Apple will make the ngos suffers their biggest setback this time.
post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

Isopropanol sounds much scarier than rubbing alcohol.

Thousands of people die of overexposure to dihydrous monoxide every year. Thousands more die of underexposure to dihydrous monoxide every year.

WHY ISN'T ANYONE SPEAKING UP AGAINST THIS?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KA47 View Post

Screw SumofThem.

I say screw all of them.

*ducks*

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If they changed the wording then all the original signatures should be null and void, period!

Indeed.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #16 of 89
Funded by the left wing groups out to destroy successful american companies. All they need is publicity which will work out well for Apple AND not for them. These bums are losers with nothing better to do.
post #17 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

These petitions are not about any concrete attempts to change anything at all. They are just about making North Americans feel less guilty about their lifestyle, or superior to their neighbours who perhaps haven't signed them. They are absolutely idiotic on many levels.

Agree. And maybe there's more than just a little whiff of cultural imperialism as well.
As in "We're Westerners. We want Chinese to be more like us."

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post #18 of 89
This is what happens as a result of society allowing negative campaigning in election campaigns - the people employed during the election cycle to sensationalise and spread mistruths and half truths then look for ways to apply their dishonest methods to other sectors. In the UK they earned a lot of money during the recent AV referendum campaign. Before that in the Conservatives election campaign. In the US though, this reaches a new low of lies and slander that someone should sue them for. TBH there should be a prison sentence for publishing lies.
post #19 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

It's difficult to put into words how unethical SumOfUs.org's actions are. It really is outrageous.

I also haven't seen anywhere an analysis of SumOfUs.org's central claims that allude to the toxicity of n-hexane. They make it sound like some of the most evil stuff on earth and that only a maniac would make anyone work with it.

However, according to wikipedia, n-hexane is usually considered "non-toxic"; it is long term exposure to high levels of n-hexane that is the problem. A bit like how drinking too much water can in fact kill you; does that mean that nobody should have to work with water on a production line? It's possible that n-hexane could be used if adequate protection were provided but it's probably cheaper just to use a less toxic substitute, which Wintek has now done.

I remember doing a study in junior high science class about the devastating affects of "dihydrogen monoxide" and how it kills so many people each year and is used as a solvent despite not being regulated.

Funny how you can make anything sound bad and dangerous. Had a good laugh after we drank a glass full of the "deadly dihydrogen monoxide".
post #20 of 89
...at the end of all of this that either Google or Samsung is actually funding these protest efforts.

I like to hope that it's Samsung and not Google.


Maybe we should start a petition to ask Samsung to stop? ;-)

reinharden
post #21 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If they changed the wording then all the original signatures should be null and void, period!

This is why one should never, ever sign any form of electronic or on-line petition. Your signature can be used anywhere. (When a person signs a multi-page legal document, the sign and date the final page. They also initial and date all the pages before it. Any corrections are also initialed.)
post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Thousands of people die of overexposure to dihydrous monoxide every year. Thousands more die of underexposure to dihydrous monoxide every year.

WHY ISN'T ANYONE SPEAKING UP AGAINST THIS?!

Lol, I posted before I read this.

I remember it as "dihydrogen monoxide" but it's been many years since 9th grade
post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

Lol, I posted before I read this.

I remember it as "dihydrogen monoxide" but it's been many years since 9th grade

Either is correct. You could also call it hydroxylic acid.
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post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If they changed the wording then all the original signatures should be null and void, period!

The signatures on the changed petition would be useless. Since the petition isn't going to be used (and can't be used) to force any legal standing the petition itself in any form is totally irrelevant to start with.

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post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

I remember it as "dihydrogen monoxide" but it's been many years since 9th grade

That's a valid name, too. I like 'dihydrous' better because people subconsciously associate the suffix '-ous' with the word 'noxious', making it sound more dangerous.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If they changed the wording then all the original signatures should be null and void, period!

Definitely. Those signatures are not "binding" after the changes have been made.
post #27 of 89
These over-the-top "activists" are only in the game to prove they're relevant - WHICH THEY ARE NOT. They are obstructionists without the facts. But of course the press will continue to give them space on the page and ultimately turn them into what they are aspiring to become. Kind of makes sense since a large amount of what passes for news is as preposterous as this group of zealots!
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by reinharden View Post

...at the end of all of this that either Google or Samsung is actually funding these protest efforts.

I like to hope that it's Samsung and not Google.


Maybe we should start a petition to ask Samsung to stop? ;-)

reinharden

It is not unheard of for an unscrupulous company to do just what you suspect in an attempt to discredit a competitor. Politicians do it all the time to their rivals, why not corporations. It's called character assassination. And after the lies are exposed the victim is left with one question. How do I get my reputation back? We are seeing this in spades on sites like C|net and MacRumors where the trolls and haters vastly outnumber the fans. They are hammering away at the "slave labor" and "suicide nets" talking points. Next quarter we will see if this apparently coordinated effort has any negative effect on Apple. It would not surprise me to learn that a competitor is found to be behind it all. If that were proved, though, the perp would be damaged beyond repair.
post #29 of 89
Apple could really wow the world, turning this publicity stunt to their favor: just promise to go BACK IN TIME to make the changes demanded by the petition. And then show that the evidence exists that they have actually done so! Very impressive.

I hope these protesters are heavily promoting a list of all the companies worse than Apple... you know, the ones benefitting when someone boycotts Apple products.

(And that really is happening: I’ve met people who wanted an iPhone but are choosing OTHER Chinese-made electronics instead, because Apple is supposedly the one not fixing the problems. Is there some planned stock manipulation here or what? Astroturfing by competitors?)

The problems are real—which is why you don’t attack those solving them, while giving a free pass to the worst offenders! (Including whole other industries, clothing etc.)

As for claiming people signed something when they actually signed something else... well, who cares about truth anyway... surely not “journalists” who fan the flames to sell our aggregated personal info to advertisers...
post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

I remember doing a study in junior high science class about the devastating affects of "dihydrogen monoxide" and how it kills so many people each year and is used as a solvent despite not being regulated.

Funny how you can make anything sound bad and dangerous. Had a good laugh after we drank a glass full of the "deadly dihydrogen monoxide".

I've built up a tolerance to DHMO but I also have a chemical addiction to the substance. If I go just a couple days without DHMO my body starts to react in ways that I feel like I'm dying. In fact, I'm told that my body is so dependent on DHMO that I will die if I don't take it regularly. I'm on it right now.

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post #31 of 89
Quote:
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, an executive director of SumOfUs.org, stated in a press release today that Apple has a moral obligation to fully compensate workers like Guo Rui-Qiang and Jia Jing-Chuan" who were exposed to the chemical by Wintek, and said Apple had "to take the hard steps required make sure that tragedies like this never happen again, despite Apple's published report documenting that it had already required Wintek to take preventive action.

This kind of stuff is just wrong. Apple didn't tell Wintek to use the chemicals and when they found out they told them to stop or lose their contract. They probably also told them to deal with their mistake (the health concerns) or risk their contract.

Morally and legally that is all that Apple can and should have to do. They are not dictators after all. They don't rule China or these companies.

but places like SumofUS try to make it sound that way while they continue to ignore the other clients Foxconn etc have. What are they going to do when it is found out that Wintek also polishes class for Nintendo, Samsung, Nokia etc and they use the 'toxic' chemicals etc. Are they going to start petitions about Nintendo's moral obligations etc.

As for the repetitive stress issue. These people are not slaves they know what they are doing when they sign up and they can quit anytime. If this person stayed for ages doing the same thing over and over she has only herself to blame. Especially since she would know that if she couldn't keep up she'd be let go. That's the way the game works with factory jobs.

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post #32 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Apple could really wow the world, turning this publicity stunt to their favor: just promise to go BACK IN TIME to make the changes demanded by the petition. And then show that the evidence exists that they have actually done so! Very impressive.

I hope these protesters are heavily promoting a list of all the companies worse than Apple... you know, the ones benefitting when someone boycotts Apple products.

(And that really is happening: Ive met people who wanted an iPhone but are choosing OTHER Chinese-made electronics instead, because Apple is supposedly the one not fixing the problems. Is there some planned stock manipulation here or what? Astroturfing by competitors?)

The problems are realwhich is why you dont attack those solving them, while giving a free pass to the worst offenders! (Including whole other industries, clothing etc.)

As for claiming people signed something when they actually signed something else... well, who cares about truth anyway... surely not journalists who fan the flames to sell our aggregated personal info to advertisers...

Which is why Apple needs to reframe the discussion now, offering an open challenge to everyone else in the industry to follow their lead, and clearly changing that they can't enact change alone. Either crickets will chirp and noone will respond, or there will be responses and the ignorant will be forced to realize that this isn't an Apple issue, but that Apple is taking the lead.
post #33 of 89
Is anybody really surprised?

This is exactly what I've been saying all along in every damn thread about this topic. The petitions that these clueless people are peddling are full of lies.

The truth is something that those sorts of people are allergic to.

Apple should sue their sorry asses for defamation.
post #34 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I am surprised that glass is cleaned by hand. It seems this is a simple task that a machine could do faster and better without repetitive strain.

It is cleaned by hand for the same reason that iPads etc are assembled by hand. Machines don't exist that are guaranteed to handle the materials correctly.

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post #35 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I've built up a tolerance to DHMO but I also have a chemical addiction to the substance. If I go just a couple days without DHMO my body starts to react in ways that I feel like I'm dying. In fact, I'm told that my body is so dependent on DHMO that I will die if I don't take it regularly. I'm on it right now.

The true danger of DHMO is that it seems to affect everyone in different ways. I've become so addicted to it that I barely need to eat anymore. I regularly ingest two gallons of DHMO a day, occasionally I mix it with fruit, but beyond that I don't need to eat much other than wheat bread.

While this does wonders for weight loss at a safe pace, I can't imagine it would work for everyone. I seem to have a much higher tolerance for DHMO than most.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #36 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

It's possible that n-hexane could be used if adequate protection were provided

That's the argument, Wintek had failed to keep up the ventilation system. Apple pressed them to do it and to use what they had requested as a polishing chemical (isopropanol). Given that Steve Jobs is known to have been totally OCD and even anal retentive over details that Wintek wasn't using Apple's choice of chemical would have made him livid no matter the other issues.

Wintek had a handful of folks get sick and claim it was the chemicals and when they did nothing about it in terms of the ventilation etc the people went to the press and Apple. And Apple acted to get the company to follow the right procedures. But Apple didn't make them use the "wrong" chemicals etc so they have no obligation to pay anything. Wintek screwed up, Wintek should pay the price (literally in some cases). SumOfUS is just looking for more fame and is using their tabloid scandal tactics to get it

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post #37 of 89
Lets start a petition to petition the petitioners for an ethical petition.
post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuniverse View Post

Definitely. Those signatures are not "binding" after the changes have been made.

And yet Sumofus won't remove names and you can't remove yourself. Makes you ponder if someone should try to sue them over it. give them some negative press

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post #39 of 89
I'm all for speaking up for people with no voice, and factory workers in China definitely fit the bill there. But having a petition with its facts so wrong, and then changing the wording after they signed it is scummy as hell. Stupid SumofBitches.
post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

Lets start a petition to petition the petitioners for an ethical petition.

The PTPTPFAEP? I'm in!

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