CANBERRA, Australia, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- An Australian man who uploaded a purported passport photo to Facebook claiming his real name is Phuc Dat Bich said online the name was a hoax.
The man, who claimed to be of Vietnamese descent, received international attention this week for his alleged plight to prove to Facebook that his real name is "Phuc Dat Bich," but he said in a follow-up post that he concocted the whole story and faked the passport photo.
Australia's SBS News, which was one of numerous news outlets to pick up the original story, said its Vietnamese program determined "Bich" was unlikely to be a real surname and it was unable to find a record of anyone matching the purported name living in Australia. SBS said the man posted his confession shortly after the organization attempted to contact him for comment.
"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," the man, who signed his post "Joe Carr," wrote on Facebook.
The man said he hopes his prank has a positive influence on Facebook users.
"To those who do have culturally specific and spectacular names, ignore the ignorance in those who may try to put you down," he wrote. "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."