A man who claimed Facebook was refusing to recognize his legal name of “Phuc Dat Bich” has admitted it was a long-running prank that got out of hand.
The man, believed to be Australian and of Vietnamese origin, had been using the name on Facebook since last year. In January this year he posted to claim Facebook had shut his account down multiple times for using a “false name.” He also posted what he said was his passport to “prove” his name was genuine.
Last week his posts came to the attention of several media outlets including the BBC, which printed the claims at face value. It even filmed a segment with one of its Vietnamese correspondents who noted that the name would correctly be pronounced by locals as “Phoo Da Bic” rather than the more offensive English tonal interpretation.
“Bich” posted today to say that “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”
While it doesn’t appear Facebook really did take the account offline at any time, “Bich” says the fact he was able to fool the media proves it’s almost impossible to enforce a real names policy and that the site should thus let users use pseudonyms.
Although the user signed his confession with the equally unlikely name of “Joe Carr” it appears his real identity may be something else.