Facebook Tattoo Prank By Austin Knill Goes Viral

Tattoo Girl

Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 23/02/2012 13:46 Updated: 23/02/2012 14:06

A heated exchange on Facebook between a student who claimed to have had the face of her boyfriend of one week tattooed on her bicep has gone viral.

An image of the inking, apparently a Valentine’s Day ‘gift’ was posted on Austin Knill’s wall, by one Sara Hartley, with the message: “Hey baby, I wanted to show you in person, but I’m gonna be in Calgary a little longer than I expected ☹ But anyways, Surprise!!! Thanks again so much for paying for it, the spa was the best valentine’s gift a girl could ask for.”

After various positive responses from female friends, during which Hartley admitted “it hurt but sometimes love can hurt too”, Knill joined the conversation.

He said: “You got my face tattooed on your arm!?! What are you insane? You said you wanted a winged tortuous (sic). I designed a winged tortuous and offered to pay for that, not my face! What the hell were you thinking?’

The conversation descended into a back-and-forth in which Knill informs her the relationship is over, while Hartley pleads to know why she is being so publicly dumped.

Scroll down for a slideshow of the full exchange

The thread was sent to Reddit and quickly spread across the world as users from Canada, America, Singapore and Britain reposted it on their own pages and chipped in with their own views.

One Facebooker said: “I really hope this is real so you get to see the consequence of our stupid actions every day.”

Another interjected with: “You sure know how to pick em Austin.”

While yet another added: “My children’s children will be hearing about this.”

Others weighed in on Hartley’s side: “Love it love it love it!!!... Austin, you’re a lucky guy. I don’t know anyone who would be as devoted as Sara.”

Another tried to quell the drama with: “I think he’s just surprised Sara, he has to like it, it’s such a beautiful gesture.”

The saga has since been revealed as a practical joke, after Openfile traced Knill, a University of Victoria student, who admitted it was a hoax and that the lovesick Hartley was a total work of fiction.

He said: “It was amusing at first but we quickly decided it would be more fun to have her appear to be utterly insane.

“We knew all along we wanted to see how far we could push our friends' credulity so we started making her do really unusual things.

He added: "We wanted to reveal it as a hoax because it was a prank on our friends after all, and we didn't want be dishonest to them indefinitely.

"Also, the internet community has some pretty clever detectives who were bound to figure it out sooner or later. I'd rather reveal it myself and be labeled a troll than be labeled a fraud.”

Knill's moment in the sun seems to be lasting however, as a recent Facebook update reads: "I now have more pending friend requests than friends"

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