How A Chinese Meme About A Bizarre Sex Ritual Took On A Life Of Its Own

    It's totally fake.

    This hoax story from a site called East Asia Tribune claimed there is a family in Singapore that has a long-standing tradition whereby the men lose their virginity in front of their relatives. Like, all in one bedroom together:

    The original fake story claimed that "Singaporean social media has been captivated" by the tale, and said the photo was shared by a relative of the groom. But there are no links to the original photo, or to other social media posts. Mostly, it's being shared by other sites that copied the salacious story.

    Facebook: WOB.SocialNews

    The photo of the supposed consummating couple has in fact been a bit of a meme in China since at least 2013. It often appears in social media posts and in stories that claim it shows family members watching two newlyweds have sex.

    The East Asia Tribune took the photo and altered it for its story. The orientation was flipped, and the man on the far left has clearly been added via Photoshop.

    A search for other images from the film appears to confirm this. One scene in the film takes place in a bedroom with some of the same items:

    It also appears the same purple blanket is in each image, not to mention the fact that the actors look exactly the same.

    The East Asia Tribune claims a rich history in the "about" section of its website. It says it has offices in 23 countries, is headquartered in Shanghai, and "is a founding member of the Asia News Union Service." None of that appears to be true.

    To recap:


    The website is based in Singapore. An earlier version of this post incorrectly said it was based in Malaysia.