The Claim and Our Verdict
- The claim: Recently, a video has been circulating on Facebook showing a woman with a fluorescent green face talking in an interview about her experience of using a facial sheet mask containing “fluorescent agents.” The post claims the face mask was produced in mainland China.
- Fact-checking: The video was actually extracted from an episode of the online talk show “Baozou Big News Events.” The program aims to satirize the abundance of toxic facial sheet mask on the market which are harmful to consumers’ skin. It is not a real news clip. The program production team has released behind-the-scenes photos of staff putting fluorescent paint on an actress’ face.
- Our verdict: This satirical video does not show a woman’s face turning fluorescent green after applying a facial sheet mask produced in mainland China.
A video was shared June 13, 2022 on Facebook. The traditional Chinese-caption translates as, “Is this a ghost? A woman’s face became like this after using a facial sheet mask produced in mainland China.” In the video, a woman with a fluorescent green face was being interviewed about her experience after using a face mask containing fluorescent agents. The post claims that the face mask used by the woman was from mainland China.
As of the publication of this report, the Facebook post had been shared 629 times, and had received 134 comments and 867 likes or reactions. A similar post has been circulating here.
A reverse image search found a longer video published Jan. 22, 2020 on YouTube, titled “Baozou Big News Events (Season 4, Episode 8).” The episode was premiered Aug. 27, 2015. The same footage can be seen from the YouTube video’s 6:43 to 10:25 mark.
The subtitles of the video show that the interviewed woman, Wu Chengliang, is a “victim of misuse of a toxic facial sheet mask.” The program host said, “In the past one or two years, emerging business models have created great momentum, but the controversy has continued. The toxic mask scandal, which happened half a year ago, has been finally settled. However, sporadic product safety issues are still emerging from WeChat businesses. While sales of such products are fast and easy, customers should be cautious because sellers are difficult to identify and there are no laws and rules governing it. For example, fluorescent powder, which can be found in some facial sheet masks for skin brightening and whitening, is harmful to skin and can cause irreversible facial damages with prolonged use.”
The “Baozou Big News Events” program is a satirical current affairs talk show produced by Baozou comics. Bilibili, a video sharing site based in Shanghai, classifies Baozou Comics as “self-media producing funny videos.” The Facebook video, therefore, is not a real news clip. As of the publication of this report, Baozou comics has not responded to our enquiry.
According to the Beijing News and People’s Daily Online, a Chinese woman who had studied in Austria sold low-quality facial sheet masks on WeChat. Since November 2014, consumers have successively reported on the internet by posting photos of their skin redness, acne breakouts, and even hair growth after using the masks. The episode of the Baozou program may have come from the low-quality face mask incident.
On March 16, 2021, Baozou comics published a video titled “How miserable the victims of funds are.” In the video, Wu, who had earlier claimed herself as a “victim of misuse of toxic facial sheet masks,” became a “repeat victim of funds,” and her face was still in fluorescent green. During the interview, Wu said that her “symptoms” caused by the toxic facial sheet mask had been cleared, but then she had a green face due to the purchase of funds. “The doctor said that I got a ‘leek face’*. The more the funds devalue, the greener the face will be,” Wu said. She added that because of a Bitcoin accident, she sold all her Bitcoins but later felt regret; As the price of Bitcoins rose, her face became even greener. Wu, therefore, has appeared in the “Baozou Big News Events” program for many times in different episodes.
* Leek (韭菜) is an internet slang in Chinese, which refers to a dumb person who is easy to deceive.
An article containing several behind-the-scenes snapshots of the program was published Aug. 29, 2015. The article claimed, “Wu Chengliang from Wenzhou is a real person. She is one of our 2,000 employees. However, she is not a victim of the toxic mask incident… The beautiful woman appearing in the video is one of our screenwriters. Her spirit of sacrificing her face for shooting is so touching. The following images show our staff putting fluorescent paint on her face.”
To sum up, the video originates from a satirical programme “Baozou Big News Events” and is not a real news clip. The program production team has released behind-the-scenes photos of staff putting fluorescent paint on the actress’ face.
This satirical video does not show a woman’s face turning fluorescent green after applying a facial sheet mask produced in mainland China.
- YouTube, “Baozou Big News Events (Season 4, Episode 8),” Jan. 22, 2020.
- Baozou Comics, “Wang Nima turns out to be the top rich man in China? Baozou Big News Events (Season 4, Episode 8),” Aug. 27, 2015.
- The Beijing News, “Post-90s internet celebrity sells toxic face masks, claiming to have an annual income of over one million yuan. The story of Zhou Menghan, from goddess to liar,” April 20, 2015.
- People’s Daily Online, “Post-90s internet celebrity sells toxic face masks, claiming to have an annual income of over one million yuan,” April 20, 2015.
- People’s Daily Online, “On the eloquent style of Baozou Big News Events that leads the internet buzzwords,” Aug. 18, 2014.
- 36Kr, “The gains and losses of Baozou Comics: From a valuation of 4 billion to ‘dissolution’,” Sept. 12, 2019.
- Bilibili, “How miserable the victims of funds are?” March 16, 2021.
- Baozou Daily, “Behind-the-scenes of Big News Events: True identity of Wu Chengliang from Wenzhou,” Aug. 29, 2015.