YouTube’s Pranksters: The Good, The Bad & The Downright Fake

Every day is April Fool’s Day on YouTube. The site has become the comedy central for outlandish, show-stopping, ruthless prank videos which have taken the internet by storm. I will admit, I quite like spending part of my time laughing at a funny video or two, but some YouTuber’s take laughing at people’s pain to a whole new level which has severe consequences.

Prank vs Prank

For a while now, I have been watching ‘Prank vs Prank’, which is a channel run by an American couple, Jeanna Smith and Jesse Wellens. They spend their time putting  their relationship to the test by pranking each other on a daily basis. On the 30th of March, they teamed up with YouTube Red, a monthly-paid subscription service exclusively available to users in the United States providing ad-free video streaming services. Their hit show ‘Prank Academy’ involves the duo mentoring other popular content creators about how to execute their most ambitious and complicated pranks.

Fousey Tube’s Social Experiments 

Yousef Erekat, better known by his stage name, ‘FouseyTube’, is a 26-year-old Palestinian-American prankster, vlogger, rapper and motivational speaker. Even though he is a quadruple-threat for his outrageous and creative pranks, he lives a double-life as the lone wolf of YouTube. His vlogging channel differs to his main channel as it displays his double-personality due to suffering from bipolar disorder. Nonetheless, I watch Yousef’s main channel because he’s a consciousness-raiser, speaks his mind and is loyal to his fan base. His social experiments especially are thought-provoking, even though they may be exaggerated:

Elevator pranks are pieces of comedy gold on Yousef’s channel especially when embracing his inner street fighter:

Sam Pepper is too rebellious for my liking 

British YouTuber Sam Pepper is not in YouTube’s good books, or mine for that matter. The 27-year-old was made famous by appearing on the 11th series of reality show Big Brother and began a pranks channel soon after moving to Los Angeles. He is known for his hilarious japes wearing a prosthetic old man’s face whilst causing havoc on the streets of LA. Sam is also known for venturing out onto Venice Beach and interviewing “strangers” about their sexual experiences – or so that’s what we thought they were. In March 2016, he uploaded a 20 minute video titled “I’m Sorry” confessing to staging all of his pranks and was hit with a petition from users calling for the deactivation of his account after being accused of sexually harassing women in a video. This, he claimed, was part of a so-called social experiment.

YouTube Diva Tyler Oakley was among those against the video:

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His channel underwent a drastic transformation after deleting the content in question. Is it really worth having run-ins with the law for views? I’m not so sure.

I feel that pranksters need to take it down a notch as they have become increasingly transgressive and insensitive to public opinion in a bid to stand out in the saturated prankster waters. There are only a small amount of prank videos which deserve genuine recognition, however many lack originality, logic and really aren’t worth the hassle. After all, there is a fine line between a humorous prank and obvious violation.

For example, take American prankster Roman Atwood who makes a living out of pranking the public and his own wife:

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