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Bow Wow lives the high 'lie', old tweets return to haunt model

Rapper's misleading photo inspires challenge; influencer slammed for 2013 'racist' posts

A SHOW-OFF CHALLENGE

People lying on social media?

Say it ain't so.

The name Shad Gregory Moss might not ring a bell to many but a social media fad based on his stage name Bow Wow is trending on various platforms.

It all started when the rapper posted a photo of a plane and two luxury cars on his Instagram account (shadmoss) last Monday.

The accompanying text read: "Travel day (for press run). I promise to bring y'all the hottest show ever."

The image implied that Moss was travelling on his own private jet and had so far been living the high life, although he did not explicitly say so.

 


Rapper Shad Gregory Moss, or Bow Wow, posted this photo on Instagram. Netizens then discovered he had used a stock photo. The hashtag #BowWowChallenge, where social media users used imaging tricks to give the impression they were living a more glamorous life, was born soon after. PHOTO: SHAD MOSS/INSTAGRAM

Two things made it worse for Moss.

First, a Twitter user posted photos of Moss travelling in a flight to New York in economy class.

"But on Instagram he posted a picture of a private jet captioned 'travelling to New York today', smh (an abbreviation for 'Shake My Head' to express exasperated disbelief)."

The second nail in the coffin was that netizens also started noticing that the image which Moss used was a stock photo taken from a Florida-based transport company called MIA VIP Trans.

Soon after, the hashtag #BowWowChallenge, where social media users used imaging tricks manipulating perspectives and framing, was born.

The goal was to give an impression that your life was far more glamorous than it really was, and poke fun at it.

Some users, for instance, posted images of cars like Ferraris or Porsches, before revealing they were miniatures. Others used mini liquor bottles to pretend they had a full bar, or used postcards to trick others into believing they were in exotic locales.

 

Philippine model Lily Macapinlac tweeted back in 2013 that she preferred “cute white boys” over “short old Asian dudes”. PHOTO: LILYMAYMAC/INSTAGRAM

Needless to say, many of Moss' fans have asked him to delete the misleading post to avoid further embarrassment.

But so far, the 30-year-old has remained unbowed. In fact, the unintended viral fame might have just given him a much-needed boost in visibility on social media.

PAYING THE PRICE FOR PAST MISTAKES

The Internet forgives but it certainly does not forget.

Philippine "social media" model Lily Macapinlac found this out the hard way last week.

The 22-year-old Sydney-based influencer has more than three million followers on Instagram.

The issue lay in tweets that Macapinlac posted way back in 2013 where she stated a preference for "cute white boys" over "short old Asian dudes".

One netizen who had a bone to pick with the model had posted screengrabs of her controversial tweets on image hosting site Imgur.

"If another short old Asian dude tries buying me a drink, I'm going to puke on them," she said in one post, crafted when she was 19.

"Definitely going to marry a white boy. I want a half-caste baby," she said in another.

Some of the hashtags she used include #whitefever and #IWantMyBabyToHaveBlueEyes.

She added that her father was "cheering her on" and her mother said the family migrated to Australia as they were not proud of the Philippine mentality and culture.

The backlash led to strong criticism.

Filipino-American fashion photographer Eliza Romero said Macapinlac's dating preferences were "clearly rooted in self-hatred and internalised racism".

She was eventually blacklisted by a few publicists and public relations firms who wanted to distance themselves from her.

Some Instagram users also noted that the only reason for her popularity was precisely that she was considered "exotic" in Australia.

Macapinlac eventually addressed the controversy last week by apologising to her followers.

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"My sense of humour was distasteful back then and I'm sorry if I've offended anyone. It was never my intention. Please trust that I have matured," she said. She also deleted several offensive tweets.

While some accepted her contrition, it seemed that a majority of users did not.

Twitter user Amber (@spaceoutfiend) said: "Are you sorry that you said those racist things or are you sorry that you got caught?"

BOLLYWOOD KING SHINES AT TED

A TED talk given by Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan was a trending topic on Twitter after it was released online last Thursday.

The King of Bollywood had charmed audiences in Vancouver earlier in a taped talk last month.

Khan, who has close to 28 million followers on the social media platform, was the centre of the #SRKLiveAtTEDTalks hashtag, with many lauding his positive message.

"I sell dreams, and I peddle love to millions of people," Khan said in the simple yet engaging 18-minute speech. "India decided that somehow I, the Muslim son of a broke freedom fighter, would become its king of romance."

The 51-year-old, who was born in a refugee colony in New Delhi and has gone on to star in more than 90 films, shared his thoughts on humanity, fame and love.

"Humanity is a lot like me. It's an ageing movie star, grappling with all the newness, wondering whether she got it right," he said to a rapt audience. "It has to be you who creates a world which is its own best lover."

Khan's seems to bode well for his next endeavour.

He has plans to host a TV version of TED talks in India later this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 14, 2017, with the headline 'Bow Wow lives the high 'lie', old tweets return to haunt model'. Print Edition | Subscribe