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British Teen 'Sherlock' Lookalike Instigates Instagram Riot in China

Image: Screen shot of the Instagram profile of tylermichell98.
A serious case of Cumberface: Tyler Mitchell's selfie gallery on Instagram. Instagram

A 16-year-old kid passes himself off as a Benedict Cumberbatch lookalike, then gets annoyed after his Instagram page attracts legions of adoring followers in China. The game is on!

Tyler Mitchell of Norwich, England, whose selfie gallery draws on his youthful resemblance to the "Sherlock" actor, raised the ire of fans in China when he posted a note on Instagram asking, "Chinese followers. Stop commenting on all my stuff."

The recently viral account of tylermichell98 combines two things currently huge in China — Instagram and the BBC show "Sherlock," which stars the 37-year-old Cumberbatch. This potent mix of pop culture-obsession, combined with the teen's serious case of Cumberface, led to hundreds of thrilled comments on the teen's account.

"You should post videos of you pretending to be Sherlock. Say some quotes, please?” read one comment pointed out by the South China Morning Post. "He can certainly play the role of Sherlock Homes in his childhood,” read another. One even commended China users for their big turnout on Instagram.

When the teen asked China fans to back off, well ... this being the Internet and all ... the post received 3,600 mostly angry responses within an hour, and the backlash spread beyond China.

"People should not feel sorry for giving you attention since you asked for it by tagging your photos with Sherlock and Cumberbatch tags," wrote one commenter. "I'm not Chinese, but I think you were a d***** b** to your Chinese followers in Instragram. If you are shy and don't want attention be polite and stop the misleading tags, make you account private or something."

But like Dr. Watson's infinite forgiveness of the d***** b** Holmes, others defended the teen, while attempting to teach the guy how one acts in polite society. "Chinese people are polite and fine, we are so sorry about the trouble we caused you," wrote one such commenter. "But you should know that we are not mean to you, we just think you looks alike BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, and in my opinion, you should also apologize to Chinese fans."