Russian influencer Leia Se thought she got away with what she seemed to think was the ultimate stunt during her trip to Bali—an island that is part of Indonesia.
Se painted a mask on her face instead of wearing a real one. She then violated pandemic protocols and completed a shopping trip in a Bali grocery store.
And she did get away with it, for a time—until the authorities saw the video of the incident her companion, YouTuber Josh Paler Lin, posted. The two were detained and their passports seized.
It was decided both would be deported once they were tested for COVID-19. Se would be deported back to Russia. Lin is from the United States, but holds a Taiwanese passport.
Many people were outraged by the video, a clip which you can see below, when it went viral a few weeks ago.
so do you think this is funny? while the funny thing here is to see someone could risk them self intentionally in t… https://t.co/BxgBbPralM— pa'an sik (@pa'an sik)1618910570.0
Typically, foreign visitors are allowed two violations of law and are subject to a fine equal to roughly $89 before they are deported.
But tourism is the backbone of the Balinese economy. Indonesia has struggled to get and keep pandemic caseloads on the island low enough to allow visitors after having closed to tourists for part of last year. It has managed to do so in 2021 with stringent rules and protocols pertaining to the virus.
Given that struggle, the Indonesian authorities decided Se would be deported immediately—especially because, as the island's Governor noted, the mask stunt was the third pandemic-related prank Se had pulled while in Bali.
The Governor, Wayan Koster, had a sober warning for anyone else thinking they can skirt Bali's rules.
"We won't tolerate anyone who violates the health protocols to keep Bali safe."
In a video posted to Lin's Instagram page, Se and Lin, accompanied by lawyers, apologized for their stunt.
In it, Lin claimed he was just doing his job by staging the stunt with Se.
"I am a content creator and it is my job to entertain people."
Lin and Se's apology did very little to ingratiate them to people on social media.
@MailOnline Good. I hope they have a torrid time of it.— Menty (@Menty)1619779711.0
FFS! This is not a game, it is life of death. My tolerance for #antimaskers and #COVIDIOTS is below zero. Influence… https://t.co/EvnIGrqM2N— Colin Brander (@Colin Brander)1619807287.0
@MailOnline You know, a caning would be fantastic content.— Terry Benzie (@Terry Benzie)1619780800.0
@XSovietNews Well off she goes, stupid is not curable...— Dorothy NotGoingBack (@Dorothy NotGoingBack)1619776944.0
These morons are why the world hates us Fake mask influencers are JAILED in Bali and will be deported https://t.co/tXpA9yLQXF #SmartNews— Sonia Becker Cooper (@Sonia Becker Cooper)1619794267.0
IMO should have roughed her up as well. 'tourists' are basically disease vectors at this point who demand they be a… https://t.co/L3TLhmjDVt— (#0000ff)✿Rose✿ (@(#0000ff)✿Rose✿)1620326565.0
This kind of disgusting ignorant tourist should be locked up in the erobokan jail for a long-ass time and let Vladi… https://t.co/FH0Tneu3G3— devilicious (@devilicious)1619855852.0
@abcnews Play stupid games...win stupid prizes.— Littlefrance (@Littlefrance)1620274174.0
The world is truly full of idiots, the laws are there to save people’s lives, and she breaks them for a publicity s… https://t.co/kI90OJ2F9H— Warren Zweifel (The Saint) (@Warren Zweifel (The Saint))1620280720.0
Before the pandemic, Bali was already experiencing extensive problems from hosting too many tourists, from a garbage and wastewater crisis to soaring rents for locals. Hopefully the government's swift dealings with Lin and Se will at least keep "influencers endangering public health" off of the list of tourism ills faced by the Balinese.