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Vile man hands out boxes of trash disguised as food to trans women as a prank

Netizens outraged against his transphobic behavior and reported him to officials after he uploaded a video on YouTube.

Vile man hands out boxes of trash disguised as food to trans women as a prank
Cover Image Source: YouTube/ferdian paleka

An Indonesian YouTuber has found himself behind bars for pulling a disgusting transphobic prank. Ferdian Paleka from Bandung, Indonesia, was recently arrested for handing out garbage disguised as food to trans women and uploading the video to YouTube. The video that was uploaded earlier this month showed Paleka and a couple of accomplices handing out instant noodle boxes to people whom they called "bencong", an Indonesian slur for trans women. Unbeknownst to the individuals who received the boxes, the men had stuffed them with bricks, rotten vegetables, and garbage as a cruel and definitely not funny prank.



According to Newsweek, Paleka and two friends now face 12 years in prison and a potential $804,000 fine. The since-deleted video reportedly began with the accused driving and playing electronic dance music while Paleka introduced viewers to their soon-to-be-executed plan to "distribute basic necessities containing bricks and rubbish." He is said to have used transphobic slurs within the first few minutes of the video, saying: "If there are any bencong, we'll give them the boxes, but if they're not around, that means this city is safe from waria (another slur word for trans people)."



"[Trans people] do not obey the government, so, don't blaspheme us—we only want to help the government," he added. The video faced heavy backlash from activists and basic decent human beings soon after it was uploaded with many mass-reporting the transphobic content and calling the YouTuber out. One of them, LGBTQ activist Lini Zurlia, tweeted: [Paleka] uploaded this video in the interest of fame by degrading fellow humans! According to Vice, YouTube took down the video just 15 hours after it appeared online by which time it had already amassed over 27,000 dislikes.



The same day, victims of Paleka's prank—Sani, 40; Dini, 50; Luna, 25; and Pipiw, 30—along with local trans group Srikandi Pasundan, filed a report against him with the police. "We thought they were giving us noodles, but they think we're trash. That was a painful experience. I've only been leaving home during the partial lockdown so that I can eat the next day. I'm aware that we're practicing social distancing, but if I don't go out there to make money, who will give me food? I was hopeful, but instead, I was insulted," one of the women told local media. Sani stated that she'd never expected such behavior from someone given the current circumstances.


"I did not expect anyone to be reckless during the month of Ramadan and the atmosphere of the COVID-19 pandemic. When I opened it, I was shocked, sad, and angry," she said. Dani revealed that she prayed for Paleka's good fortune when he handed her the box, only to be left crushed and humiliated when she realized it contained concrete. As the video gained immense attention online, authorities and angry neighbors gathered in front of Paleka’s house to confront him on May 3, only to find that he'd fled from there.


He added fuel to the backlash with a fake apology video on Instagram in which, rather than express earnest regret for his deplorable actions, he tried to milk his newfound infamy. "I’d like to apologize for what I’ve done…not," he said in the video, adding that he would turn himself in if he got 30,000 more followers.  However, his smugness was shortlived as he was arrested on Friday and is currently detained in a West Java jail. One good to come out of the incident is that many social media campaigns have since started to set up fundraisers and open food banks for vulnerable trans communities across Indonesia.


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