Xiaomeme! Daylight Attempt to Scam the Community, and how they nearly got away with it. A perspective from Raphiel.
Xiaomeme ... again.
Well, here we go again, it is again that time of the year where we the community are talking about Xiaomeme, keeping the torch alive.
After the Alek Dev fiasco, that still rings deep within our ears, we now come to the second fiasco that I, unfortunately, have the pleasure to write about. Xiaomeme is silencing me again (this has now become a norm for me and I don't care).
Disclosure: I'm a former Federation Administrator of Xiaomeme that rebelled against the Federation and all of the Sub-Federations that are related or connected to Xiaomeme (The Federation) in any way or form.
The fiasco at hand this time i.e. the developer crowd-funding for alioth aka POCO F3/Redmi K40/Mi 11X (in typical Xiaomi fashion, a single device with different names for different markets around the world). Alioth will be called "the device" moving ahead.
For full disclosure, you (the reader) can click on the caption to view the conversations that we have quoted as the screenshot from the chat itself, if you see Pink Text simply tap or click on it.
My goal is to provide all the facts, would the Federation promise to do the same? Not trying to divert too much from the irregularities at hand, but I'm into deep. Here goes nothing.
A nonsensical crowdfunding
Crowdfunding for the device started on the 23rd of May, 2021.
Today, most of the chats regarding crowd-funding are purged down, making it more than suspicious to us and the community at large.
It all started with a plan of crowd-funding a developer that works with the device and lives in India, after preparing a list of developers, the device was to go to someone named Vasi, who had no recent record or a resume that shined above others as a Dev. Moreover, based on his recent statement, "he refused it", but Xiaomeme pushed him to accept it.
As the crowd-funding happened behind the scenes, in total secrecy, there were some questionable things happening. For one, no one knew where the money, that wasn’t recorded, really went to.
Members and donors started to question the crowd-funding, as it was shady at best. But because the crowd-funding project wasn't done with good intentions from the get go, the Federation went on ahead regardless.
Some members who were defending the crowd-funding called me out and said 'I'm spreading hate' (???)
In the end, after the crowd-funding was done, they published a measly PDF rather than an Excel sheet or a Google Sheet form, why?
Just a little side story. Iron, attempted to manipulate the vote for Mi 11X Pro crowd-funding.
Aye Gevalt, what works have you done for the community?
Before we continue, let's go back a little to the work Vasi has done with his TWRP build as he himself has said that "TWRP is harder to work with than a full ROM".
Firstly, the initial TWRP commit was developed by Nebrassy (who has TWRPs official status now for the device). Vasi took Nebrassy's work and tweaked it a little. All he has done is what we call "forking" and dwelling even deeper, all he did was "fix the vibrator" in the TWRP, as can be seen in this commit.
This was pretty much possible with the changes Sebastiano Barezzi (SebaUbuntu) made to TWRP, as he's the one who implemented Vibrator AIDL Support in TWRP, which he then sent to Nebrassy, which was then taken by Vasi and he called it "his work". Plagiarism much?
The changes required for Vibrator AIDL Support don't really translate well into his statement that "TWRP is harder than developing a full ROM, is it?" He already had most of his work cut out for him as other devs at that time, and Nebrassy applied the changes and gave credits to Seba for his work and support.
Starting the time machine.
We move forward and 8 months after the initial case, on the 9th of January, 2022 a pinned message that sparked a 'bruh moment' was posted onto the device's main channel
'Especially since most of the work on TWRP had already been done by Nebrassy and there are also some other custom recoveries developed for the device like OrangeFox that is why Vasi was dormant, is pretty much a disappointing statement to say the least.
Four (4) days before this, on the 4th of January, 2022, Xiaomi India was also caught committing Tax Evasion by not paying royalties and licensing fees to Xiaomi Beijing and Qualcomm.
Back to the pinned message, Xiaomeme, as their typical "defence mechanism" tried to defend Vasi's statements.
And of course, comments started flowing in from members as well
"The unrecognized backer"
As the chat flowed and the complaints kept coming in, there was one case that was definitely quite disturbing. It started when Alex (one of the backers) demanded the phone to be sent to Utsav (well-known developer for the device) instead.
It isn't something that should be said to a donor by someone who simply managed the money, to begin with.
Later it was revealed that Trishit (Fed leader) thought Alex wasn't even one of the backers, yet his name is clearly on the PDF report that the Federation prepared and shared themselves. Irony?
This makes everything feel very odd and irregular, that the ones' who managed the campaign didn't even recognise one of their donors.
Are there some other "Unknown backers" that aren't on the list?
If in doubt, do a federation ban or mute anyone who questions you ... the modus operandi the Federation adopted.
Still, in Alex's timeline, I took some of the regularity that happened to him just because he went against Xiaomeme and their ill-intentioned plans.
The state of officiality of Xiaomeme
Questioning even the minutest of things is punishable by the Federation who call themselves "Official". Does this show professionalism by an official channel or chat?
The duality of the device contents provided to users
As you know, we discourage the use of DFE (Disable Force Encryption), and the use of it is generally discouraged all around the android community by and large, but in the alioth official channel, you can still shoot yourself in the foot, if you like.
"Won't disagree = Friend = INSTANT ADMINSHIP"
As we know, the Xiaomeme administration has never been one to look out for the good of the community, and the requirements to become an admin are only to be a ”yes man/woman" with the chat owner for whatever reason, whether it is good or bad.
And they tend to promote anyone who doesn't really have any idea on what to do, to begin with, nor are they experienced in managing a community this large in scale.
The branding, the iron intervention, the removal, and the purge.
If you are in the alioth chat, you might remember this display picture.
These display pictures, also have quite a lore on them.
Aligning the timeline with changes made in the group and the lore, we ingest the data.
This blog post is in ongoing development. Any updates will immediately be reflected within this blog post.