Cypriot internet personality Fidias Panayiotou has come under fire after posting a video that shows him sneaking into the Bengaluru Metro system without paying. The stunt, aimed at gaining social media popularity, has been criticized as unethical and illegal by viewers.
The nearly three-minute video, shared by Panayiotou on Instagram, depicts the YouTuber smoothly bypassing security to enter the metro platform. “I will teach you how to get the metro in India for free,” he declares at the start.
Panayiotou is seen confidently approaching commuters outside the station and asking if they think he can enter without a ticket. After receiving skeptical reactions, he proceeds to walk past the ticket counter and hop over the barriers to access the platform – all without being stopped by any security personnel.
Backlash Over Disregard for Laws and Ethics
On the platform, he encounters the same commuters from earlier, who warn that exiting will be the real test. Panayiotou is then shown easily repeating his ticketless entry at another metro station. He captions the video “How To Sneak Into The Indian Metro.”
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The stunt video immediately faced backlash, with commenters accusing Panayiotou of stealing and taking unethical measures for content. “Good job! Stealing from the hard-working people of India,” wrote one viewer. Another expressed disappointment that an influencer would encourage such actions.
Criticism also emerged over the lack of security to prevent fare evasion. One comment tagged the local police and stated, “Such actions must not be encouraged by an influencer. Hope something be done about it!”
Metro Authority Promises Increased Security
Responding to the incident, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) announced increased surveillance at stations to prevent similar occurrences. “We have intensified surveillance,” confirmed BMRCL Executive Director of Operations and Maintenance, A.S. Shankar.
YouTuber No Stranger to Viral Stunts
This is not Panayiotou’s first brush with viral fame. The YouTuber gained attention earlier this year for his dogged pursuit of Elon Musk, which included camping outside SpaceX and Tesla offices. His efforts finally succeeded in January 2023 when he met and photographed with the billionaire mogul.
While aiming for social media notoriety, Panayiotou’s video has raised concerns about security and fare evasion on Bengaluru’s metro system. The public criticism and official response point to a disregard for local laws and ethics for the sake of online popularity. However, the heightened vigilance promises to deter such actions in the future.