An employee of a hair salon in Hanoi has been fined US$330 for staging a clip that went viral of an iced tea vendor washing her foot in a bucket of water used for mixing the drink.
The man was punished for "spreading fabricated stories on social media" and "damaging the virtue and dignity of others."
According to information verified by Hanoi authorities, A.D.A. works at a hair salon in Cau Giay District, next door to the house whose sidewalk is occupied by an iced tea vendor.
On July 12, a one minute video was posted on A’s Facebook page showing a young woman washing her foot in a bucket of water before using the water to mix iced tea for customers.
The clip went viral shortly after being uploaded, as many directed anger at the woman for neglecting basic hygiene standards.
Footage of a foot-washing iced tea vendor in Hanoi that was uploaded on Facebook on July 12, 2017
However, according to officials' verification, the real owner of the iced tea shop is Pham Thi Lai, who was neither present when the clip was filmed nor had any knowledge of the existence of it.
A. has admitted to staging the entire scene with his colleagues at the hair salon with a view to posting them online “for fun."
A. was the one who filmed the act, while a female cashier played the role of the iced tea vendor and other salon employees pretended to be customers.
After their mischief was discovered, A. apologized to the real iced tea vendor, Lai.
Nevertheless, Lai has been forced to stop selling iced tea as her business occupied the sidewalk illegally.
The People’s Committee of Cau Giay District in Hanoi has given A. a pecuniary fine of VND7.5 million ($330) for spreading fabricated stories on social media and damaging the virtue and dignity of others.