Netizens furious over bullying of ‘autistic’ college student in viral video, bullies say they were ‘just joking’

Photo: Video screengrab
Photo: Video screengrab

Recently, a troubling video went viral in Indonesia, showing what appears to be a special needs university student being teased and bullied by his peers.

In the short video (which we are not sharing here), a few college students are seen mocking and taunting the student, seemingly trying to provoke him into becoming angry. The whole incident was cheered on by some bystanders, while other students just stood and watched.

The video drew strong reactions from Indonesian netizens, especially as the alleged victim was described as a special needs student in posts containing the video, while even the mainstream media declared him as ‘autistic’.

The alleged bullies in the video, as well as their alleged victim, were identified as Universitas Gunadarma students, with the incident taking place in their campus in Depok. Today, the university announced that they have launched an investigation into the video, but have clarified some of the rumors pertaining to the viral video that have been circulating online.

“We have met with the victim’s family. The parents said their child is not a special needs child or autistic like rumored on social media,” said Universitas Gunadarma deputy dean Irwan Bastian today, as quoted by Kumparan.

Irwan added that the alleged victim is “feeling down” because of the rumors that he is an autistic special needs student.

Meanwhile, the alleged bullies, of whom there are four, have been questioned by the university’s team of investigators.

“According to the testimony of the students in the video, they did not mean to bully; they were just joking. The incident happened quickly and it was just spontaneous,” Irwan said.

That excuse withstanding, the university said the investigation is still ongoing as they were still determining whether or not the alleged bullies’ testimony is true.

No criminal charges have been filed in relation to this incident, so the matter is being dealt with internally by the university.

The video, along with another viral video showing middle schoolers bullying their classmate in Jakarta, led to increasing concerns about bullying in Indonesia lately.


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