Update: Police have charged Edo Putra and his friend with spreading disinformation and content that violates moral norms, which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison under the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE).
Original story follows.
Police in Palembang, South Sumatra apprehended a YouTuber named Edo Putra after his recent “prank” video drew widespread outrage.
Edo, who has just over 10,000 followers on his YouTube channel, recently uploaded a video in which he and a friend pulled a qurban-related prank on two ladies.
In the video, Edo and his friend collected trash, such as discarded pieces of clothing, and put them inside black plastic bags. Edo then separately gave the plastic bags to two ladies, telling them that they contained meat from the Islamic sacrifice ritual, which is mandated for distribution to the needy.
Edo and his friend then drove away having previously set up hidden cameras near their victims, who were upset when they discovered the content of the bags. The prankster then returned and apologized for the prank before he gave them some money for their troubles.
Though the video was universally panned, it did go viral in Indonesia, prompting local authorities to apprehend Edo and his friend over the weekend.
Police said yesterday the two were taken in for questioning and updates on their case will be revealed to the public later today.
Makmun, Edo’s uncle, said the YouTuber’s family is hoping for his immediate release because the video was actually scripted.
“[One of the ladies] is his mother and the other is his mother’s friend,” Makmun said yesterday.
Makmun added that his nephew, who is a teenager, has a penchant for making “sensational” videos having pulled similar pranks before.
“They are just teenagers being naughty. We hope that they can be freed,” he said.
Edo wouldn’t be the first Indonesian YouTuber to get in trouble with the authorities over a prank video. In May, another relatively small-time YouTuber named Ferdian Palenka pulled a prank on transwomen in which he gave them boxes containing garbage disguised as COVID-19 aid. Ferdian could’ve faced up to 12 years in prison for violation of the Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) before his victims dropped their charges against him.
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