UPDATE April 22: Authorities have seized the foreign influencers’ passports, and say they are considering deporting them. Read the latest update here.
Two influencers have drawn flak online for a prank video they did in Bali, in which one of them painted on a face mask while visiting a local supermarket for what appears to be the sake of content. Being maskless in public is in violation of the province’s mandatory mask rule.
The Taiwan-born influencer, who we will identify as JPL for now, uploaded a video on Facebook last Friday, in which he and another influencer called L are visiting a local grocery store. After security told them that L was not allowed to enter without a mask, the two returned to their car and painted a mask on L’s face instead. They then returned to the supermarket — JPL using a proper physical mask — and filmed themselves as they walked around the store.
“Did you notice like no one’s actually looking at you?” JPL asked.
“Exactly, because it looks real,” L answered.
“No one noticed! Even the security. I can’t believe this works,” JPL said, to which L responded with a laugh.
Anything apparently goes for the sake of content, even if you’re violating the law or putting other people at the very real risk of COVID-19 transmission in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. The video reeks of blatant ignorance, which many people online have since called them out on.
The original post itself appears to have been deleted from JPL’s Facebook page, while his and L’s Instagram accounts have been set to private at the time of writing. JPL has over 321,000 followers on Instagram and 3.4 million subscribers on YouTube, while L – who appears on many of JPL’s recent videos – has about 19,000 followers on Instagram. In addition, it might be worth noting that pranks, challenges, and social experiments seem to make up the bulk of JPL’s content.
JPL’s mask prank video has made it onto Balinese designer and politician Niluh Djelantik’s radar, who posted screengrabs of it on her social media accounts earlier this afternoon and called on immigration authorities to arrest and deport the influencers, who both appear to be foreign nationals.
“These two people don’t have empathy. They are using COVID-19 as a joke. I am asking with respect for @ditjen_imigrasi and @imngurahrai to strictly act upon these two people. Don’t let them step on Bali’s dignity,” Niluh wrote on one of her several posts on the matter, tagging the official accounts of Indonesia’s Directorate General of Immigration and their Ngurah Rai regional office.
Others have taken to expressing their outrage in the comments, with mounting calls for authorities to kick them out of the country.
“Why didn’t the guy just go and buy a mask while the girl waits in the car. They are deliberately making this sensational for content.”
Coconuts has reached out to the immigration office in Bali, and we will update this story as soon as we hear back from them.