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Bali to boot out influencers over face-mask prank

Published Apr 30, 2021 8:54 pm

A pair of social media influencers will be booted from Bali over a prank video that featured one sporting a painted-on virus mask that broke COVID-19 rules.

Authorities on the Indonesian resort island said Friday that they would deport US-based Taiwanese YouTuber Josh Paler Lin and Russian influencer Leia Se over the stunt that went viral.

In the video, Lin expresses surprise that few people seem to notice Se walking around a Bali supermarket with the painted-on blue mask.

She applied the make-up after store security initially turned away the maskless Russian.

The clip sparked outrage in Bali, where virus cases and deaths have been climbing.

Foreigners can be hit with a fine of one million rupiah (P3,342) for not wearing a mask in Bali and face deportation for the second offence.

But authorities decided to boot out the pair over their prank.

"We plan to deport them," said Jamaruli Manihuruk, head of Bali's legal and justice office.

"It has to wait until flights to their respective countries are available -- hopefully soon."

Lin, 32, who regularly posts prank videos to his 3.4 million subscribers on YouTube, has already deleted the clip and apologised.

"I made this video to entertain people because I'm a content creator and it is my job to entertain people," Lin said in an online apology.

"However, I did not realise that what I did could actually bring a lot of negative comments," he added.

In another case, Bali police have said they are hunting for a Russian porn star and her boyfriend over a racy video they recorded at a sacred mountain on the Hindu-majority island.

The video went viral after it was uploaded to a porn website.

It was unclear if the pair were still on the island. (AFP)