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Garuda Indonesia sues YouTuber Rius Vernandes for viral video on airline’s menu

According to Indonesian vlogger Rius Vernandes, Garuda Indonesia is suing him after his YouTube video sharing a handwritten menu (by a cabin crew member) on board the airline’s business class flight went viral.

The 20-min video, which is a review of his flight experience, has attracted 963,535 views, 33,000 likes and 4,200 comments within four days.

The claimed lawsuit was revealed in an Instagram post by Vernandes, who received a letter of notice from the police. In the post, he asked for the online community’s support, stating that he does not wish to see reviewers who give “constructive criticism” being prosecuted as criminals in the future. Adding on that he has “no intention” to defame anyone, he questioned whether there is a more civilised way to resolve the dispute.

The post has garnered over 104,000 likes and 13,300 comments within a day, with many fans mentioning Garuda Indonesia’s account and condemning its actions.

In response, Garuda Indonesia told several media outlets such as SCMP and The Jakarta Post that the handwritten menu is created by a cabin crew member for personal use and not intended to be handed out to passengers. Meanwhile the police confirmed to media outlets that there has indeed been a lawsuit filed.

View this post on Instagram

Guys, gw sama elwi dapat panggilan dari polisi mengenai masalah ini. Kami di laporkan atas dugaan melakukan tindak pidana pencemaran nama baik. Gw yakin kalian tau kalau gw TIDAK ADA maksud sama sekali untuk mencemarkan nama baik siapapun. ⁣ ⁣ Gw sangat minta support kalian soal ini. Semua nya. Siapa pun. Kalian semua punya suara. Terutama teman2 influencer. Gw harap kalian bisa bantu share dan support gw dalam masalah ini karena gw gak mau di masa depan ketika kita review sesuatu dengan apa adanya, ketika kita memberikan kritisi yang membangun, kita bisa di pidana. ⁣ ⁣ Gw akan menghormati segala peraturan hukum yang ada dan akan menjalani semua ini. Gw sama sekali tidak merasa mencemarkan nama baik. Gw tidak takut. Tapi tidak ada kah cara yang lebih kekeluargaan dalam menyelesaikan masalah ini?

A post shared by Rius Vernandes (@rius.vernandes) on

The incident came after Garuda Indonesia ssuing a circular disallowing passengers to take images or videos inside the cabins and later went back on its decision. A spokesperson told media outlets such as Bloomberg and The Jakarta Post that passengers are still allowed to do so if it does not compromise the comfort, privacy and safety of others on board the flight. Marketing Interactive has reached out to the airline for further comments.

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