An Australian called Phuc Dat Bich who made global headlines after saying he was fighting to use his real name on Facebook has admitted it was hoax.

“Mr Bich” said on Facebook that his real name was actually Joe Carr.

He said what had started as a joke between friends “became a prank that made a fool out of the media”. But he said it also brought out the best in people and gave encouragement to people with “truly interesting and idiosyncratic names”.

The Facebook user, whose profile still shows him as Phuc Dat Bich, had said back in January that he found it “highly irritating the fact that nobody seems to believe me when I say that my full legal name is how you see it”.

He posted a picture of his passport showing his name, and said he had had his Facebook account “shut down multiple times”. Posts under that name date back to at least 2014.

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