YouTubers face deportation in Bali for a fake mask joke
(CNN) – Two YouTubers face deportation in Bali after they made a prank video that showed one of them violating local mask laws.
The local government has reportedly confiscated the passports of Josh Baller Lynn and Lia Si and are now at risk of being forced to leave Indonesia as a result of the video.
In the clip, she tried to enter a grocery store, but was refused for not wearing a face mask. Then Lin paints a fake mask on her face and she can enter the store.
The video, released on April 22, went viral. Lynn has 3.4 million YouTube subscribers.
Indonesia strictly enforces its mask mandate. Police can impose fines for the first offense and deport foreigners for the second.
Although this was Lin and Se’s first known crime, the hype around the video drew such attention that local authorities confiscated their passports. Lin is said to be from Taiwan but lives in the United States, while Si (who is called Lisha on the Internet) is a Russian citizen, according to a police statement.
“They will be examined with the Immigration Department to decide whether or not to deport them,” Anna Bhutto Surya Dharma, spokesperson for the regional office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in Bali, confirmed to local media.
Lynn has already removed the video from her YouTube channel. On April 24th, he uploaded a video to his Instagram where he, Se, and his lawyer apologize for the deception. The video is subtitled in English and Indonesian.
“The filming of this video was never intended to disrespect him or to invite everyone not to wear a mask,” Lin says. “I make this video to entertain people because I’m a content creator and my job is to entertain people.” “We promise not to repeat this,” he later adds.
In this video they are both wearing a mask.
Meanwhile, some police officers appear to have taken a more creative approach to punishing those caught breaking the law: An Australian news channel reports that two tourists have been ordered to make payments as punishment for removing their masks.
The authorities confirmed to the channel that they had issued 8,864 fines or fines for failing to comply with the use of masks in Bali in one week. The island is very popular with foreign tourists and many have chosen to spend the epidemic there rather than return to their home countries.
Indonesia has seen 1,651,794 cases of the virus and nearly 45,000 deaths. Bali, which relies heavily on tourism, had been hoping to start allowing foreign visitors by September 2020, but the current situation of the virus so far has left the island without a confirmed reopening plan.