The issue of callousness has become a viral topic of discussion in China since the hit-and-run last month in Guangdong province. A closed-circuit videotape shows in stomach-churning detail the girl being struck by two delivery vans, as well as the 18 people who either walk or drive by without helping.
On the flip side, state media have gone out of their way to publicize morality tales showing the heroism and generosity of ordinary Chinese.
One video that captured the public's attention shows people banding together in a Shanghai park Oct. 23 to help a pregnant woman who fainted. The video shows the group carrying her and flagging down a motorist who volunteers to drive her to the hospital.
"Ever since Little Yueyue left this world, people started to question the consciences. Some even said Chinese no longer have morality," a caption reads on the video. "Here, people with their actions showed that Chinese still have a heart.... Let's be proud of Shanghai and of the Shanghai people."
The problem is, it didn't really happen that way.
Last week, the head of a Shanghai film production company held a news conference and acknowledged that three of his employees had staged the fall-and-rescue in what he described as a "beautiful lie."
"What they did was inappropriate, but their intentions were good," said Zhang Jun of Erma China. "They thought if people saw this on television it would set an example about how they should behave in a warmhearted way when something happens."