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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The woman who claimed her Google Glass computer was ripped off her face during an altercation at a San Francisco Haight-Ashbury bar is gaining a huge social media following, with most of it casting her – and the tech industry she purportedly represents – in an unflattering light.
Sarah Slocum, whose Facebook profile lists her as social media/business consultant, has given her version of the events at Molotov’s Bar over the weekend, in which she says she was attacked for wearing Glass and ended up being robbed of her purse and cellphone. Other witnesses have disputed her version of the events.
Her story has since gone viral and has been featured on a host of publications – including the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail and the popular Taiwanese Next Media Animation
One look at the comments section in each of these publications show an overwhelming majority blame much of the incident on Slocum – for her failure to perceive the negative reception by bar patrons of her wearing the device and her decision to begin recording video as the situation escalated.
Google has been particularly singled out in much of the protests, and the Glass device is controversial as a symbol of privilege and its perceived infringement on people’s privacy.
Ironically, days before the incident Slocum shared a link on her Facebook page to Google Dos and Don’ts etiquette guide for Glass owners, which advises people not to be “creepy or rude (aka, a ‘Glasshole’).”
Following the incident, one of the commenters on Slocum’s Facebook page appears to come from a woman who took a of picture her that night outside Molotov’s
Sagesse Gwinn Graham I am the women [sic] who was excited to try on your glasses. I also witnessed what happened outside after the bar shut down. You are fabricating a lot here. You were incredibly drunk and very much instigating the altercation. A whole can of worms might explode in your face. You did not file a crime report and you dropped your purse. Many people witnessed it all.
Slocum defended her behavior and use of the Glass inside the bar, saying she only began video recording when she began getting harassed.
One of Slocum’s responses to an admonishment on her Facebook page has added to the negative reaction:
what makes this story special is that no one has experienced a hate crime or been targeted for a hate crime, which is what it was, for wearing Google Glass.
A search for @SarahSlocum on Twitter shows Slocum has her supporters among tech enthusiasts, but they are drowned out by a chorus of negative tweets.
Slocum says the experience will not dissuade her from sporting the Glass device. Responding to advice from a Facebook commenter:
[Commenter] In the future I recommend not wearing them in public because it’s the same thing as holding your phone up in the air pointing it at people whether you’re recording them or not.
[Slocum] I am always going to wear them now. I’m not going to let these people or this incident deter me from using a incredible piece of technology and innovation that makes my life easier.