It is not Wong’s job to do this. In fact, she describes the reverse-engineering code as her hobby. “I like to dig deeper into the apps and see how they are designed,” she says from her home in Hong Kong, where she lives with her family. She is not a hacker; All the data she receives is public. She’s more like a computer science version Talkative girl,
Wong’s Twitter feed is almost a daily scoop factory, but she insists that anything she posts is not leaked. “Leaks mean that based on information coming from employees, those employees are the source,” she says. But I use publicly available data and code. They are not leaking. “
Wong has always built a reputation for being true. Journalists cite her work in articles, crediting her scoops. “Initially, people will ask, ‘Who is she? How does she have this information?'” She says. “But over time, I have come to trust. You have to prove that your information is valid. ”
It has reached the point where companies make Easter eggs for it. Newton says a lot of people have given up trying to hide their code and just play with it. “There have also been cases when developers would put a ‘hi, Jane’-style message in their code,” he says. “They know she’s coming.”
Wong’s work focuses on the often overlooked parts of research and development of companies, which could be a PR win. The coders at Meta love her so much that they have set up an internal Jane Manchun Wong fan club, one of the members of the company’s CTO Andrew Bosworth. “We appreciate her contribution and the feedback that has helped us improve our products,” said a Meta spokesperson.
But just because they know she’s coming doesn’t mean they’re always welcome. Showmanship and surprise are key elements in maintaining the aura around a tech launch or feature અને and Wong has exploded through these secrets, breaking down the carefully constructed walls of tech companies. With one tweet, she effectively destroys any composition or description about a feature.
This is precisely why, in fact, Wong says she tweets before the features go public. For her, secrecy and subsequent hype are problematic. Apps are used by people; Shouldn’t those people know what updates and products are being worked on behind the scenes?
It’s not hard to imagine that companies might be dissatisfied with the random spread of their secrets on Twitter by social media celebrities. And as a 20-something Asian woman posting a constant stream of bombshells about tech companies on Twitter, Wong is the main target for the kind of harassment and trolling that can break even the strongest men. “I want more people to understand that I am a person,” she says. “I’m more than a machine.”
She is a controversial dynamic, and one that has deeply affected her. Over the years he has often tweeted about depression and the feeling that people hate him. She is open about her mental-health struggles and says she continues to cope with depression.
And although Wong describes what she does as a hobby, sometimes it’s more of a passion: she spends about 18 hours a day doing code combing and checking what companies are tinkering with. She sacrificed her sleep and health, sometimes keeping herself locked up in the house for days when the harassment escalated. At times, she even threatened to kill herself after practicing sorcery online. She left the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, less than a few months after graduation due to medical problems, for which she regrets.
Is it all worth it? Wong believes that she has noticed that companies are more transparent about what they are doing these days. “And if they had been before, I wouldn’t have had to do this,” she says.
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During the epidemic, Wong adjusted and re-evaluated his schedule. She’s still a night owl, but she’s starting to find balance. She has started hiking out of town, and has found refuge in a local cafe in a nearby church.
Quarantine has also made her realize that she does not want to do this job full time. “I’ve wanted to be a software engineer since I was six,” he says. “I want to make things.” But despite numerous offers, she is not ready to get a job at Tech. “I still haven’t reached the bottom of my curiosity for this,” she says. “When I satisfy that curiosity, I will stop. I will move on. “