Killing Friend Prank Gone Wrong?

by Jessica Buettner

YouTube is a website known for many types of videos: from adorable cats playing the piano to harmless pranks on friends. Recently, a prank video has been released onto YouTube that is creating a lot of controversy. British YouTuber and former Big Brother contestant, Sam Pepper, made a YouTube video titled “Killing Best Friend Prank.”
In the video, two of his friends named Sam and Colby are shown being kidnapped and taken to a rooftop. Sam is tied up to a chair as a man in a mask appears to kill Colby, who was in on the prank. Sam was left very distressed and screaming as the series of events were taking place right in front of him. A little bit after Colby gets “shot,” he gets up and reveals that he is alive and it takes Sam a few seconds to really comprehend what is actually going on.
It has been a day or two after the video was posted onto YouTube and already, so many fans and critics are really stating their opinions towards Sam Pepper for his prank. Most of them thought that it was not only disturbing and could have created emotional damage on the victim, but it just wasn’t entertaining.
According to BBC, YouTube insists that Sam Pepper didn’t break any of its community guidelines. This means that the website is refusing to remove the prank video from the website.
The Huffington Post explains that YouTube does have some restrictions, such as not allowing users to post ‘harmful or dangerous content’ or allow users to post videos featuring nudity and violence ‘intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful.’ Many people were tweeting out and spreading the news that Sam Pepper should be removed from YouTube due to the actions that he has taken.
A petition has been created on calling for YouTube to deactivate Sam Pepper’s channel and it already has accumulate more than 100,000 supporters.
“He clearly doesn’t understand boundaries or have any respect for those people who have lost their lives and believes that murder can be staged as a prank,” the description of the petition states. “It’s disgusting, especially as it appears to mirror situations where people really have been killed. Sam Pepper needs to stopped. This is not his first offense and it won’t be his last, unless we stop him.”
As the description states, this is not his first offense, as Pepper is also known for posting other types of prank videos that have also caused some issues on the Internet. One of these videos include Sam Pepper touching women’s butts without their permission. That particular prank video was taken down a few days after it was posted due to so much negative feedback being stated about the video. Along with the videos, six women have accused him of sexual assault back in October of 2014.
As a respond to these actions, Sam posted follow-up videos, stating that the prank was staged and it acted as a social experiment to promote awareness of male victims of domestic abuse. Many fans expressed skepticism that Pepper planned a big reveal outing the prank as a social experiment with a larger message.
Sam Pepper truly is a person who seems to have a lot going for him if he continues to take the actions he has been taking for a while. If Sam does continue, YouTube will truly have to force him to take down his channel. The case is taken into consideration by the company if the petition gets enough signatures by supporters of the cause. The message about filming pranks that create true controversy should be spread around and to be taken seriously.