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Don’t judge people by appearance: Indonesia President Joko Widodo’s message backfires on social media

JAKARTA – A comic strip posted on President Joko Widodo’s Twitter account that conveys the message of looking past appearances and instead judging people by their actions has been met with a less-than-favourable reception on social media, with many users pointing out the comic’s inherent irony in regard to the various instances of discrimination still plaguing the government’s bureaucracy.

In a video that was viewed over 2.1 million times and retweeted by over 33,900 Twitter users as of 1pm on Tuesday (Jan 21), a man who appears to be a cartoon version of Mr Joko takes his grandson out on a trip aboard a commuter train.

As they look for available seats on the train, the grandson is scared when he sees a man with dyed hair and dressed in stereotypical “gang” attire sitting across from him.

“Grandpa, there’s a scary-looking man,” the grandson said.

“It’s okay. Don’t be scared,” the grandfather replied.

On the next page, an elderly woman is shown boarding the train when it arrives at a station. The man with dyed hair catches sight of her and tries to get her attention, prompting fellow passengers to suspect that the man is up to no good.

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