Travel influencer Kristen Gray, after spending 2020 in Bali, went viral for a Twitter thread that encouraged people to move to the Indonesian island, and was now being deported according to multiple outlets.
The 28-year-old described herself as “digital nomad” and her girlfriend Saundra Alexander, 30, were, as of Wednesday morning, were waiting for a flight back to the United States while being in immigration detention.
The viral Twitter thread caught the attention of the local authorities, regarding claims by Gray that she was carrying out business ventures in Bali without even having the correct visa to get appropriate work authority.
Kristen Gray and her girlfriend were living in Bali, an Indonesian island with a booming tourism industry, for about a year as “digital nomads”.
However, her recent Twitter thread about her experience in Bali while promoting the sale of the couple’s e-book received huge backlashes from people, deeming it illegal.
Indonesian government has restricted foreign tourists from coming to the country since Jan. 1 to control the spread of COVID 19, and public activities have been restricted on the islands of Java and Bali in the view of it.
Her tweets reportedly had “disseminated information which was disturbing to the local public,” which was the reason behind her deportation, said Jamaruli Manihuruk, chief of the Bali regional office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
An official statement highlighted her descriptions of Bali providing comfort for LGBT and being easily accessible even during the pandemic. It also referenced tweets with links to her e-book, which had direct links to the agents who were offering help to foreigners who were willing to move to the island.
Manihuruk said at a news conference Tuesday that Gray had stated that she could provide easy access to Bali through the recommended agency and offered the low living costs in Bali, that it was comfortable and LGBTQ-friendly.
Gray was reportedly was offering an e-book costing $30 and a follow-up consultation regarding becoming an expatriate in Bali for $50. She was suspected of carrying out business activities by selling e-books and putting a rate for consulting (about) Bali tourism, as said by Manihuruk.
On the contrary, Gray thought she did nothing wrong and is being deported for speaking out about LGBT community.