The deadly escalation of prank videos on YouTube


“It’s just a prank!” What started as a playful trend has turned into an embarrassment for the internet. It’s not “just” a prank anymore. 

Prank videos were once the darling of YouTube. But somewhere between the classic gags of surprising someone with an airhorn under their chair and the recent death of 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz, who was shot in the chest during a failed stunt video for YouTube, would-be entertainers have gotten desperate for attention. That desperation has turned what were once innocent gags into lowbrow exploitation for thirsty YouTubers itching to go viral. 

Online, every day is effectively April Fools’ Day. And when the game is to constantly shock and awe your audience, things can turn nasty real quick. Read more…

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