Beijing Qinglonghu Park. Photo: dianping.com

A stunt by a famous blogger in China, who made a public appeal for higher environmental awareness, has backfired badly. But she may still have the last laugh.

The blogger had shared photos of herself cleaning a park, but was heavily criticized after allegedly being caught bringing trash to the Beijing park and scattering it around.

On June 5, which was World Environment Day, social media influencer Zheng Jiayi posed for pictures in a Winnie the Pooh T-Shirt in Beijing’s Qinglonghu Park with four big bags of trash she claimed she had picked up as she cleaned the park, The China Youth Daily reported, recapped by the News.wmxa.cn.

Then the story took a strange twist. A person who claimed to be an employee of the park left comments saying he saw the woman carry four bags of rubbish into the park where she found a quiet spot and posed for a few pictures. She later emptied the bags, scattered the litter around and took a few more shots of the scene.

The man’s comments went viral, with Weibo readers and others across social media platforms slamming the woman.

Eventually, public security officers went through CCTV footage of the location on June 3, which showed no sign of the famous blogger carrying the garbage to the park or her scattering it around. It turned out that the photos of before and after the park being cleaned were done with photo editing software.

The blogger finally went online and admitted that the whole saga, from cleaning the park to having the employee speak out was a fake. She called the prank reverse marketing.

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