3rd June 2023 – (Hong Kong) A Hong Kong social media influencer, Joseph Lam Chok, has sparked outrage on the internet after posting a message on his social media account that appeared to be selling NIKE shoes similar to those worn by the suspect in the recent Plaza Hollywood murder case. The 39-year-old suspect was arrested after allegedly killing two young women in a stabbing rampage in the mall yesterday. The post by Lam Chok attracted widespread criticism, with many accusing him of being insensitive and callous.
In the post, which has since been deleted, Lam Chok claimed to be selling NIKE shoes that were the same style as those worn by the suspect, at a discounted price of HK$399. He even added that these shoes ‘are good to escape from the crime scene’. The post was seen as highly insensitive and inappropriate, given that the murder had just taken place and many people were still reeling from the shock of the incident. Netizens condemned Lam Chok for being heartless and willing to exploit a tragedy for his own gain.
After facing backlash, Lam Chok issued a statement on his Instagram account, explaining his actions. In the statement, he denied that he was trying to profit from the tragedy and claimed that he was merely trying to make a joke. He also refused to apologise for his actions, stating that he was exercising his right to free speech and that he had no intention of offending anyone.
Lam Chok went on to say that he believed his post had a deeper meaning and was meant to serve as a wake-up call for people to face the harsh realities of the world. He argued that people were too sensitive and that they needed to toughen up and face the truth. He also claimed that he was inspired by his hero, British comedian Ricky Gervais, who had famously said that there was nothing that couldn’t be joked about.
However, many people were not convinced by Lam Chok’s explanation and accused him of being insensitive and tone-deaf. They pointed out that the murder had just taken place and that it was too soon to make light of the tragedy. They also criticised Lam Chok for using social media to promote himself and gain attention, rather than using his platform to promote positive messages and ideas.