Recently a Vietnamese-Australian man, who allegedly had the name Phuc Dat Bich, made the headlines as he said he had been blocked on Facebook because of his unfortunate handle.
The news spread across the social media as people either laughed or gave Phuc Dat Bich support in his brutal treatment by the social media platform. According to the story, he had to make three attempts to convince Facebook that it was his real name, including posting a copy of his “passport.”
The original post by Phuc Dat Bich on Facebook read, “I find it highly irritating the fact that nobody seems to believe me when I say that my full legal name is how you see it.”
He then went on to say he had been accused of using a false and misleading name, which he found very offensive, adding, “Is it because I’m Asian? Is it?”
Bich said that having his Facebook account shut down multiple times, and being told to change his name to his “real name,” made him angry.
— Mirror Weird News (@MirrorWeirdNews) November 25, 2015
Some articles, like this one on Digital Journal, went totally viral, gaining tens of thousands of views and thousands of Facebook shares as the world learned about the terrible plight of the persecuted Phuc Dat Bich. All the major news outlets also picked up the story, gaining much attention to his ordeal with Facebook and its “real name” policy.
After all the fuss, humor, and excitement all over the web, it turns out the whole thing was actually a prank against Facebook. The Phuc Dat Bich Facebook page now refers to a “fictional character” and not an actual person.
It turns out the scanned passport he produced to Facebook to prove his “real name” was doctored to reflect the name Phuc Dat Bich. While the guy didn’t release his real name and only referred to himself as “T,” he has now posted once again on Facebook, explaining what he did and why he did it.
As reported by the Guardian, the 23-year-old explained in a post signed “Joe Carr” (which is apparently a reference to “joker”) that it is “utterly impossible to legitimize a place where there will always be pranksters and tricksters.”
According to the prankster formerly known as Phuc Dat Bich in the post on Facebook, what started as a joke between him and his friends turned into a prank that made a fool out of the media. However, it also brought out the best in the people who reached out to him, sympathizing with his plight.
“It didn’t bring out the anger and darkness that we often see on the internet, but it brought a levity and humanity in a time we need it most.”
The prankster went on to say that out of this ordeal, he has concluded that you can’t trust the credibility of the media. He said, “It’s twisted by the hungry journalists who mask the truth… It goes to show that an average Joe like myself can con the biggest news sources with ease.”
— Mashable (@mashable) November 25, 2015
However, while in most sources, Phuc Dat Bich is referred to merely as “T,” Mashable has a different story. Reportedly a schoolmate of the prankster from Deer Park Secondary College in Melbourne revealed the truth to Mashable including a school photo and proof that his real name is Thien Nguyen.
— Mashable (@mashable) November 25, 2015
Before revealing the truth of the story on Sunday, Phuc Dat Bich wrote a new post, saying he had made his peace with the situation and adding that he is very grateful to those who have been supportive of “certain names that populate in different cultures.”
“We live in a diverse and multicultural society and the fact that there are people out there who are supportive and encouraging really makes me happy.”
Nguyen said that he had never “ranted or wept” so he was surprised the post got this kind of exposure, adding that he is “glad and honored” to make people laugh over something that appeared to be outrageous and ridiculous. With all the tragic events in the world, he reckons only “happiness can mend.”
By the way, if you would like to know how the controversial name should actually be pronounced, enjoy the video below, where Dan Hauer demonstrates how to pronounce the more common Vietnamese names. If you don’t want to listen through the whole video, Hauer pronounces the name Phuc Dat Bich, which could, indeed, be a real name at around 5:15.
OK, so how many of you were totally fooled by the Phuc Dat Bich story? Let us know in the comment section below.