TikToker banned for mocking the poor

By Luu Quy   November 29, 2022 | 12:51 am PT
A boycott by Vietnamese netizens has prompted TikTok to ban a user for posting videos of himself publicly humiliating people while serving them free charity meals.
TikToker No O No. Photo by Facebook Pham Duc Tuan

TikToker No O No. Photo courtesy of Pham Duc Tuan's Facebook

TikTok confirmed Monday that it has permanently banned No O No’s account.

The platform reported that it could block the creator of the account, 26-year-old Pham Duc Tuan, from creating a new account on the same device.

Over 600,000 followers had been drawn to No O No for his restaurant and retail reviews. But then No O No posted videos of himself degrading the poor while on charity trips to feed the elderly

In one video, he asks an elderly woman on the street what her favorite food is. Then he surprises her with a free serving of it in his hands.

Instead of gifting it to the woman, Tuan said some rude and offensive sentences to her like: "Hello poor old miserable lady, alone in the middle of the winter", "You’re poor, why didn’t you take the food?", "You can’t even buy a cheap bowl of pho" and "Stop being poor, no one can help you forever."

A local campaign to boycott the account took off immediately. Celebrities also started speaking up.

"You are making society uglier," said model Le Thuy in response to the video. "If you keep making such content, you are seriously depraved."

TikTok account @tuanbrice or No O No gets banned on November 28, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy

TikTok account @tuanbrice or No O No gets banned on November 28, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy

Singer and model Nham Phuong Nam said he was upset when he saw the No O No video.

"This is an inhumane act for me. I will never go to the restaurants that he reviewed. This is not sitting right with me," he said.

Beauty queen Diem Huong said No O No’s content was supposed to be for charity but that in reality, the videos contained nothing meaningful or positive. Huong called No O No a bad influence on young people and said social media content like his should be completely boycotted.

In response to the outrage, Tuan said on Sunday night that the videos were "for charity purposes," and they "came from the heart."

By way of explanation or excuse, he further added that he had asked people’s permission before recording them.

"My charity content was created in a joyful way, but many people didn’t have a good reaction," he said. "I sincerely apologize if the video is offensive to you."

He also removed the video from his TikTok account.

Le Quang Tu Do, director of the Department of Radio, Television and Electronic Information at the Ministry of Information and Communication, said he received complaints from social media users on Sunday and worked with TikTok to handle the account in question.

Do said the content of some of No O No’s videos violated "civil customs" and were unacceptably discriminatory. He reported that his department had also asked the HCMC Department of Information and Communications to contact Tuan, but the controversial TikToker was out of reach.

Vietnamese regulations dictate that those who post and share content that is not in accordance with civil customs may receive a fine from VND5-10 million ($202-404).

No O No is just the latest addition to a litany of Vietnamese YouTube, TikTok and Facebook users that have been penalized for such behavior. But Do said that after paying fines, users often continue to produce similar content in violation of cultural regulations.

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