A photograph, showing a Hmong child touching a drunken tourists watch, has been taken as conclusive proof that the child stole the watch. The photo was posted by an anonymous user on Reddit, the user claimed that his girlfriend did not notice at the time because “she was a bit drunk”. These totally unsubstantiated allegations have been accepted, not only by Reddit users, but also by newspapers such as Britain's Daily Mirror and the New York Post.
Until recently, Reddit had a section called Coontown where racialists could make derogatory remarks and jokes about black people. In addition to racialists, Reddit is popular with professional liars (shills who are paid to spread disinformation), perverts (such as 50 year old men pretending to be 15 year old boys) and foul mouthed cyber-bullies.
That Britain's Mirror takes the story verbatim from Reddit is not surprising. The Mirror is the flagship of Britain's “gutter press” and would never let the facts get in the way of a good story. More surprising is the New York Post's “Sneaky kids rob tourist in Thailand during this picture” by Natalie Musumeci. The idea of a “reliable source” would seem to be unknown to Ms Musumeci as her article is taken entirely from the Reddit post. But perhaps she deserves a Pulitzer for the hard work of going through all that filth just to come up with a few quotes from anonymous Redditors.
The Thai police became aware of the post and interviewed the two children, but found no indication of wrongdoing.
Private Tye found the Reddit Post at:
it might still be there.
The Story from Khaosod:
Hmong Parents Protest Children’s Conviction by Reddit
By Sasiwan Mokkhasen,
CHIANG MAI — After a photo spread the world over of their children “stealing” a tourist’s watch, two parents of the two Hmong children insisted to police Tuesday it was simply not true.
The photo of the foreign woman posing with two girls in Hmong ethnic garb in front at Chiang Mai’s most famous temple shot to the front page of Reddit after it was posted Sunday under the caption “Girlfriend in the progress of having her watch stolen.”
The image, in which one of the children’s fingers touch the strap of her wristwatch was taken as certain proof by most of thousands of commentators who upvoted it more than 6,000 times and in news stories it spawned around the world, which took at face value it captured a crime in commission.
Phujarat Jiraphakorn and Lulu Laowa today brought their two daughters, 7 and 10, who appeared in the photo, to answer questions after they were summoned by police
Anek Chaiwong of Phuping police said the parents were incensed and would have pressed charges for making a false accusation, were the foreign couple still in Thailand.
“The farang did not file any complaint to us,” Lt. Col. Anek said. “The parents of the kids are very concerned and said they would have filed a complaint against the false accusation were the farang still here in Thailand.”
In comments to the image posted to r/MildlyInteresting, MedardBoss, the original poster, implied the watch was later found missing among a few other disclosures.
“She was a bit drunk tbh,” he wrote. The account has since been deleted.
But the couple said they interrogated the girls, who denied any wrongdoing. They said they take them to every weekend to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep to make some money posing for photos with tourists for which they accept voluntary donations.
“They never beg for money,” Lulu said. “It always depends on how much the tourists want to give them.”
The Hmong mother said she didn’t see how it was possible for her daughter to steal a watch from someone’s wrist without them noticing.
Their village headman also accompanied them to the police station Tuesday to vouch for the family’s clean record. Methaphan Fuengfukitchakarn said they are well known and liked, and said accusing the children on the basis on one photo was not fair to them.
Yet a number of users were less persuaded, leaving comments certain the girls were engaged in criminal subterfuge.
“I’ve lived in Chiang Mai for almost seven years. Those kids aren’t good; they’re expert. That watch is long gone,” Reddit user Oh_dear_ wrote.
Chiang Mai police aren’t convinced, saying they’ve never known children at the temple to
be criminal elements.
“We are deeply concerned,” Anek said. “There has been no such incident like this before.”
Clarification: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story indicated police knew children at the temple to be criminal elements, when in fact they said never knew them to be so.