It has been reported that UK and Australian tabloids have backtracked on accusations made against two young Hmong hill tribe girls.
Allegations were made against the youngsters suggesting they stole a watch from a British tourist in Chiang Mai in September 2016.
Now the tabloids have written letters of apology to the parents of the two girls. The letters from the UK’s Sun newspaper and Australia’s Daily Mail were presented by Ben Robert Svasti, the British honorary consul in Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai governor Pawin Chamniprasart and Muang district chief Saranyu Meethongkham.
The girls worked in Doi Suthep, where they would allow tourist to have their photo taken with tourists as they sought to help their family make a living. They were pictured holding hands with a British tourist with a caption saying “Girlfriend in the progress of having her watch stolen.”
The image appeared on Reddit.com and was picked up by international newspapers and Thai sources, resulting in the girls being banned from Dui Suthep.
Reddit swiftly removed the posting but only after the story went viral.
An investigation was ordered but found that the accusations were unfounded and could not be substantiated with evidence to back up the claims.
So here we see the power of the internet and the damage it can do when posting what was nothing more than gossip. These little girls lost their income and had their integrity called into question.
Is an apology enough or should they receive compensation from those who effectively prevented them from making an honest living?
Tell us your thoughts.