Prank videos can be a lot of fun, and that is exactly how they started out when they first appeared on YouTube. Someone would set up a funny prank and video tape it with the person being taped not realizing that they were about to be the subject of a prank. If the prank is executed well, then we can all watch it and have a laugh. However, pranks on the Internet lately have gotten more and more desperate.
Mashable.com has published a great article that details how prank videos have gone from fun and innocent to downright terrible. They show some early prank videos that are very innocent and funny such as a person getting wet from being sprayed with a rigged up water faucet. However, the pranks started to get more and more dark as people were willing to do anything to get the clicks they wanted.
A member of the cast of Big Brother UK Sam Pepper was one of the bigger names to get in trouble for using YouTube as a means of doing something wrong. He made “prank” videos in which he allegedly sexually harassed someone. When this video came out it received immediate backlash. YouTube star Laci Green even went so far as to write an open letter to Sam Pepper calling him out for what he had done.
The criticism of the actions of Mr. Pepper grew and eventually he removed all of his Internet existence for a short time. He later returned to the Internet with more horrible material and was once again denounced. It was just the latest sign that some people will do whatever it takes to become “Internet famous”. There is a lot of money for those who really can generate a following, but there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.