Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their own environment — but sometimes YouTubers forget that. Most of YouTube is very aware of respecting boundaries, but the pranking world sometimes has a bit of a lag. Part of that problem is that YouTube is very crowded and lots of people are attempting to get attention all at once. There are a lot of videos out there that you could watch in the prank world, so a lot of YouTube pranksters get desperate and make videos that compromise the security and safety of strangers. Even if they become very popular videos, this doesn’t make them right. The videos that we document here all have thousands or millions of views — but they are also examples of bullying.
Sure, it’s just to get a laugh, and the creators of the videos usually aren’t out to hurt anyone or make people feel bullied — they just want that attention. But sometimes, even when we don’t mean to be, we can be accidental bullies.
Here are some of the most viral pranks on YouTube that cross the line into bullying. See if you can spot the moments where things go wrong:
Peeing On People Pranks
There are several iterations of this “prank,” pretty much all of them involve people getting hit with water that they are made to think is pee. While the reaction is usually an angry one instead of fear, this is still a vile form of bullying and makes people feel violated. It can be very damaging to their self esteem and their comfort, even if it is only water. Notice that some individuals in this have their faces blocked out? That means even after they knew it was only water, they still didn’t want to be associated with this — because it is bullying.
Following People Pranks
This prank seems harmless enough — just following people around. But what makes it more than a prank is that it is about invading people’s personal space and stealing their security from them without asking. These are just random people — they don’t ask to be harassed, even if it gets a lot of laughs on the internet.
Getting In A Stranger’s Car Pranks
Imagine you are feeling apprehensive or unsafe while driving through an unfamiliar area. Suddenly a stranger opens your car door and tries to get in. The stranger doesn’t mean you any harm — he’s just pulling a prank for the internet … but you don’t know that. He might have a weapon. In fact, this prank is extra dangerous because if the driver tries to drive away to escape, he might hit someone, whether another car or even a pedestrian.
Kissing Strangers Pranks
We live in an age where people get put in videos whether they want to or not. While sometimes pranksters will blur out the people’s faces if they didn’t want to be involved, other times they don’t ask permission at all. A major bullying prank that is common on YouTube is to stick a camera in someone’s face and ask them to do something they normally would never do. The camera is used as a tool for bullying because there is the possibility of shaming someone if they don’t want to do it. Many people feel peer pressure to have to perform when there is a camera present. Here, the camera is just used as a cheap tactic for this YouTube prankster to make out with strangers.
Stealing People’s Stuff Pranks
This prank preys on trust and kindness — if someone asks to see something of yours, you want to believe that they’re a good person. If they suddenly take off running, forcing you to chase them or risk losing something that is valuable to you, it creates a trust issue going forward. The next time a stranger asks to see something of theirs, they might be afraid to show it. These pranksters have created a feeling of anxiety in that stranger that they don’t deserve. That’s a form of bullying.
Possibly the worst form of bullying in pranks, these kidnapping pranks usually go in one of two ways: either pretending to kidnap a person (under the guise of giving them a ride) or making strangers think someone else has been kidnapped or injured in some way. Here, this YouTuber gets strangers to watch a fake baby and then steals the baby. Notice the first man in the video is forced to make a choice between running after a stranger’s baby or having his laptop stolen. The YouTube prankster didn’t know the circumstances that person was dealing with when he forced them into his prank. His actions made another person feel terrified and not okay about themselves. Since when is that funny?
Share this article with people who might be pulling pranks they think are funny, but are actually bullying.