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“14 Slaps Hong Kong Girl Incident” is an incident that caught on after it took place on 4 October 2013. During the incident, the girlfriend was continuously slapping her boyfriend who was kneeling down on the street. A passerby recorded the scene and uploaded on YouTube immediately following the incident. Soon, the video caught many netizens' attention and went viral in local YouTube community, gaining over 400 thousands viewing record for the original source. In the meantime, various controversies were stirred up in the society.
Course of the Incident
The incident gained mass exposure due to a bystander videotaped the course of the incident and posted it online. In the footage, it is shot that a couple was in a quarrel. The boyfriend was kneeling down to his girlfriend while the girlfriend was yelling at the boyfriend questioning if he had brought home a girl, the boyfriend denied for multiple times. The girlfriend then proceeded to reprimand her boyfriend, grabbing his head and slapping him on his face.
The incident soon caught the attention of many passersby. The couple were surrounded by passersby who were trying to help the boyfriend from getting hurt. Some passersby could not stand the scenario and intervened, asking the boyfriend to stop kneeling while curbing the girlfriend from slapping her boyfriend. But they were scolded and repulsed by the girlfriend.
By the end of the incident, police officers arrived and the girlfriend was apprehended. Officials of the police department had confirmed the official arrest of and assault charges dropped on the girlfriend. The boyfriend was admitted to the hospital for further monitoring and treatment for potential injury. The case was followed up by the Seventh Team of Kowloon City Police Department Criminal Investigation Division.
Social Reactions/ Response
The incident stirred up some controversies towards the violent action of the girlfriend. Response from Hong Kong netizens are mainly negative and questioned the statuses of manhood and feminism in today's society. Many comments online and on YouTube were satirical and ridiculed the man for giving in to his girlfriend's tantrum. Some commented on the boundaries of a relationship nowadays. However, some people thought it was a fake video or an advertisement of a social group for self-promotion.
It was revealed later that the girlfriend was a sales assistant of a pharmacy and the Facebook accounts of the couple was found and leaked online. Many comments online were negative and apprehensive towards the girl’s action as it is not the right way to settle the problem by slapping your boyfriend’s face, with the boyfriend kneeling down.
In September, it was discovered through Facebook that the couple had already been arguing way before the occurrence of the incident.
This video was circulated to western Facebook community and elicited many negative international feedback.
Victimisation of a Lookalike of the "Girlfriend"
The next day of the incident, it is reported that a 13 year-old girl posted a candid photo of another girl taken in the subway on her own Facebook Wall. According to her sister, she believed that the girl in her photo is the “14 slap Hong Kong girl”. The candid photo was rapidly liked over 10000 times and forwarded to different forums and webpages. It again aroused a great deal of cyber abuse and discussions on the Internet.
However, the girl who was photographed is actually a Macao tourist and was not related to the incident whatsoever. Although she explained on her Facebook that she is not the “14 slap Hong Kong girl”, it still could not stop the false information being spread and her real identity was being exposed by the netizens. She did not have any options but to report to the Macau police after her privacy was infringed, hoping that the Internet Abuse would stop. The girl who posted the candid photo then deleted the photo and made an apology, expressing her repentance.
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