Video of Indonesia president-elect Prabowo edited to promote 'bed sheet giveaway'

A digitally manipulated video of Indonesian president-elect Prabowo Subianto has been viewed tens of thousands of times on a TikTok account that falsely suggested he had endorsed bed linens from two shops in the archipelago nation. The original unedited footage shows him responding to early poll results in which he led his presidential rivals.

"Officially becoming President 2024-2029, Mr. Prabowo distributes free bed sheets to all Indonesian people," read the Indonesian-language caption alongside a TikTok video posted on March 23, 2024.

Shared by an account called "gudangspreiprabowo" or "Prabowo's Bed Linen Warehouse" in English, it linked to two shops selling bed sheets.

The beginning of the 21-second video -- which bore the logo of local broadcaster Kompas TV -- shows Prabowo and his running mate Gibran Rakabuming Raka giving a speech behind a podium.

"Thank God, for this victory and the victory of the Indonesian people, as my gratitude, only today I want to give away these luxury bed covers and sheets for free," Prabowo appeared to say.

"They were half a million rupiahs, now only 30 thousand. Pillow and roll covers are included. Those who have followed, give a like and comment 'I want one'. Free shipping and cash on delivery."

The video then shows a selection of bed sheets and covers.

Screenshot of the post that shared the doctored video, captured on June 4, 2024 (Satya Adhi)

Prabowo won nearly 60 percent of ballots in Indonesia's February election.

The archipelago nation's election commission formally declared him the next president of the world's third-largest democracy in May after the constitutional court shot down challenges to his first-round majority victory.

The 72-year-old defence minister is due to take the reins in October from outgoing leader Joko Widodo, more popularly known as Jokowi.

Similar videos racked up more than 100,000 views after they were posted by the same TikTok account here, here and here.

Some social media users commented "I want one Sir" and "I want" which indicated they were misled.

Altered video

Combined reverse image and keyword searches on Google and YouTube found the original video streamed by Indonesian local broadcaster Kompas TV on February 14, 2024 -- the day of the archipelago nation's presidential election (archived link).

It showed Prabowo giving a speech at the Istora Senayan arena in the capital Jakarta responding to early tallies in which he led his election rivals Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the manipulated video (left) and the original from Kompas TV (right):

Screenshot comparison between the manipulated video (left) and the Kompas TV video (right)

The doctored video corresponds to the original clip's 19-minute, 57-second mark.

In the original footage, Prabowo said: "Gibran and I, together with some figures who support us, have explored all around Indonesia. We shared the task. There were some places I couldn't go, so Gibran went there."

He also thanked other political figures who supported his presidential candidacy.

Prabowo's speech was also published by other Indonesian media outlets including CNBC Indonesia and Tribun Medan TV (archived links here and here).

AFP has debunked other misinformation about the Indonesian election here.

Is there content that you would like AFP to fact-check? Get in touch.

Contact us