Earlier this month a story went viral about an Australian guy called Phuc Dat Bich, who was constantly at loggerheads with Facebook over his name. Despite it being the moniker his mother gave him, it still violated Facebook's policy, who repeatedly accused him of “using a false and misleading name.”
The post went viral for a few reasons. Firstly; who can argue a passport photo amirite? Secondly; it sounds like "fuck that bitch." Thirdly; the subtext behind the dispute is gold, pulling in discourse about race, multiculturalism, intolerance, and all the other flash points that cause the net to kick off.
Sadly, your boy Phuc is actually a 10/10 piss-taker called Tin Le, and he explained how he stitched us all up for kippers in this FB post:
Do you remember the story; The boy who cried wolf?
Imagine that boy grew up into a mischievous man with 21st century technology at his finger tips.
I've never believed it's necessary for it to be mandatory to have your entire name to be published on social media. People should be free to use any name they desire. Facebook needs to understand that it is utterly impossible to legitimise a place where there will always be pranksters and tricksters.
What started as a joke between friends, became a prank that made a fool out of the media and brought out the best in the people who reached out to me. 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.
Out of this ordeal I've concluded not to trust the credibility of the media, it's twisted by the hungry journalists who mask the truth.
I just want those who are reading this to take a step back and reflect what the media have claimed about me.
"What was his parents thinking?"
It goes to show that an average joe like myself can con the the biggest news sources with ease.
I want to acknowledge the supportive individuals who have encouraged those with truly interesting and idiosyncratic names that populate in different cultures. Hate and discrimination will remain if we continue to be so closed minded.
To those who do have culturally specific and spectacular names, ignore the ignorance in those who may try to put you down. Continue being the best person you can be and make your mark on the world in whatever way you can - even if it is a simple prank.
Joe Carr aka PDB
It really wasn't that tough to spot. The font on the passport shows the inconsistencies of a just-below-perfect photoshopping, and Phuc Dat Bich is, according to one site, a trio of three first names in Vietnamese. Combine these with Phuc's universal refusal to respond to, let's assume, hundreds of email requests, and you've got yourself a brilliant troll.
But who cares? Any site that posted it the first time can double traffic by explaining the hoax. I would have been guilty of that myself had I bothered to post the original story. Which I didn't. I can't recall why.