An Indonesian Instagram influencer couple (locally known by the terrible portmanteau "selebgram," which combines the words "seleb" for celebrity and "gram" for Instagram) recently got flak for using local donation platform Kitabisa to raise money to fund the woman's hospital bills.
The page went viral over the weekend as netizens pointed out their seemingly well-to-do lifestyle, featured prominently on Instagram, prior to their current condition.
Edelenyi Laura Anna, who currently has over 778,000 followers on Instagram, was recently involved in a car accident with her boyfriend Gaung Sabda Alam "Gaga" Muhammad, who rose to fame in 2016 after breaking up with his now-famous ex, another popular Indonesian influencer Karin Novilda, known by her social media handles @awkarin.
Last week, Gaga set up a Kitabisa page calling for donations to help Laura's recovery, writing that the 19-year-old was diagnosed with Cervical Vertebrae Dislocation following the accident, which has affected her mobility. According to reports, he initially set a fundraising target of IDR200 million (US$14,283), before lowering it to IDR50 million.
Gaga wrote that the money they raised will be used to pay for her surgery, inpatient fees, drugs and other daily costs at the hospital. At the time of writing, the Kitabisa campaign has ended and a total of nearly IDR49.5 million raised has been disbursed.
The donation page, which quickly went viral over the weekend, sparked criticisms from many netizens, who pointed out how the couple is known for their blatant display of wealth, including partying and going on vacations abroad. Some highlighted the things Laura has shared on her Instagram page, particularly her brand-new iPhone 11. Laura also appeared to be treated in at least a semi-private room at the hospital, as seen on her Instagram stories.
Many in Indonesia have utilized Kitabisa to raise funds and help those who are less fortunate, including Indonesian teacher Baiq Nuril, when she had to pay off the IDR500 million (US$35,709) fine the Supreme Court ordered, which was part of her sentence for recording a principal's sexual harassment against her (Thankfully, Baiq was granted presidential amnesty in July).
The platform was also used to raise funds for an ojol driver to buy a new motorcycle, after his old one was stolen while he was buying food for a customer.
However, Gaga and Laura's recent use of the platform raised an important question among Indonesians on whether or not people with money should be making calls for donations on personal expenses, especially when they appear to be well-off.