Editors' Choice

Fake Prank And “Social experiment” Videos

Shelby Chau / November 12, 2016

Years ago there were a few prank channels on YouTube that filmed genuine pranks and the reactions of the unwitting recipients of said pranks. There was also a subclass of similar videos known as social experiments. Social experiments start with a person (the plant) presenting themselves in a controversial way out in the world while a hidden camera and microphones capture the public’s reaction to the event. The point of this was to challenge the norms and the mindset of society on a specific social issue.
You’ll find some examples below. Problems started becoming more prevalent when bottom-feeding view hounds realized that prank videos and social experiments got lots of views and were shared very often on social media.



Source: techpctricks


As a result, these people would post ads on services like Craigslist requesting actors. The actors would show up and were told that they were going to take part in a staged social experiment and/or prank. That’s right, these so called ‘real’ videos are fake and for some, these manufactured videos can be spotted from a mile away.  However, your sweet little grandmother who just started using Facebook last week, because you just bought her a tablet for her birthday, can’t tell that these videos are 100% fake. Then she shares the crap out of them, but at least she’s not forwarding you email chain letters anymore.


Now, most of these channels are based out of LA. And where do the majority of hungry actors live? LA or Hollywood. When you’re one of these up and coming actors and you see a quick gig pop up, you’re gonna jump all over it like a kid at fat camp who finds the door to the kitchen unlocked at night.



Some staged events revolve around the homeless. There’s one with a homeless person reacting to being given some money, but then moments later is approached by another homeless person that is in need. Will they help? What about how the public treats homeless children sitting on the sidewalk begging for change? Would the situation play out differently if the child was middle eastern, asian or black? How about if the ethnicity of the child was juxtaposed with an area that is predominantly one demographic?




Other scenarios have a white person asking a black person to use their cell phone in the hood vs. a black person asking another black person to borrow their phone. In the video above,  the creators have even gone as far as staging a domestic dispute where a man attacks his girlfriend in public. They then flipped the script and had the woman attack the man instead to show that there is a double standard when it comes to domestic violence.



Some of the biggest channels on Youtube got their starts by faking pranks and setting up cringey social experiments. Check out the above video where the beloved “FouseyTube” is named and shamed by another YouTuber.



Once he started feeling the heat, Fousey had no choice but to try and save what face he could and admit that SOME, not all some of his pranks and experiments, were staged and manipulated. Which ones though? Just the ones he’d been called out for. And we’re expected to believe that the rest are all genuine? Get real.  


Another popular pranking experimenter is the one and only Joey Salads. Here he is getting called out for his famous “ILLEGAL GUN in New York (Gone Wrong) Social Experiment ” video.




With these kinds of videos, it’s hard to tell whether the situations presented are legitimate. Some have moments that appear to be genuine, but then at the same time it’s hard to believe that these acts of human kindness can actually happen to begin with, let alone while a camera is rolling.


Then there are channels like McJuggernuggets who operates under the illusion that it is real, but everyone watching knows that everything is staged and fake. It’s similar to a “reality show” and everyone you see in the videos are characters. Jessie (McJuggernuggets) ended his 2 year long “Psycho series” with a finale that many saw coming. The whole series was akin to a train wreck that one could not look away from.  Check out the series trailer and reveal below.




All in all, the problem with faking social experiments and pranks is that it creates a self serving manipulated false narrative that can be socially or politically motivated and toxic. Also, some unknowing, less educated, and unaware viewers may go out and attempt to recreate the events in these videos and could end up seriously hurt because the other participants aren’t actors and aren’t following a script.


Moral of the story? Don’t try this at home.


Featured image via: YouTube (Top Trends)