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The Internet Phenomenon Pranks: From Funny and Harmless to Cocky and Risky

2 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Social Media
© photothek.net

Playing a prank on someone, for example ringing the front doorbell and then just running away, that’s probably something everyone did as a child and had fun with. Much like the challenge phenomenon, which involves filming yourself completing a challenge and posting the clip online, pranks are the modern version of the childhood prank: videos of pranks played on others can be found in large numbers on YouTube & Co. You can learn more about this in this text.

What excites teens about pranks?

As children get older and they begin to think ahead, that is, to imagine what will happen next, they get excited about pranks and movies in which mishaps happen to people.

Prank is the English term for prank. Many YouTubers film the pranks they play on friends, other stars from social networks or even uninvolved passers-by. Many of them are usually harmless and funny, such as prank phone calls or scaring your girlfriend or boyfriend in their sleep.

However, in order to achieve a high level of attention from the community and get as many clicks as possible, some pranks are becoming more and more dangerous and risky. YouTuber ApoRed dropped a bag in a savings bank during his “bomb prank” and shouted “30 seconds you all have, better run if your life is worth anything!”. Some passers-by were very afraid and subsequently still sleep disturbances. ApoRed was sentenced to probation and 200 community service hours. The process should make it clear that YouTube is also taken note of by the state and that crimes committed there will not be tolerated.

This example is, of course, an extreme individual case that does not represent the rule. YouTube has since tightened its terms of use, as more and more such videos have had serious consequences. It is now illegal to post pranks and challenges that involve “the risk of real danger or death” on YouTube.

What to look for

In fact, young people are more likely to watch prank videos than make them themselves. However, YouTubers like to encourage people to imitate the content, whether with a camera or not, whether harmless or not. Young people are often not even aware of the consequences. Others may come to harm or may not find it funny to be featured in a video. They were probably also not asked whether a video of them may be published on the net, so that personal rights were disregarded.

If your child enjoys watching such videos on the web, let him or her show and tell you what excites him or her about them. However, also make it clear that dangerous pranks in particular are not suitable for imitation and that much YouTube content is staged, even if it appears authentic. Keep an open mind for fun and completely harmless challenges or pranks from your child’s YouTubers.

You can learn more about the Challenges phenomenon here.

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