Are fake pranks and publicity stunts taking over YouTube?


Fake pranks and misleading videos have frustrated viewers over the last few years and the situation seems to be getting worse. More and more YouTubers have been exposed for producing ‘fake pranks’ with paid actors and using online drama to get more eyes on their videos.

Popular YouTuber Fouseytube has attracted plenty of attention recently after he staged an online feud with fellow YouTuber RiceGum.

Starting as a Twitter row, the two then took things further by faking an altercation where RiceGum punched Fouseytube, which was conveniently caught on camera. The two video-makers later revealed that it was all a stunt.

When the two YouTubers reveal the set-up, they show examples of the huge attention they attracted, including mentions from channels like Philip DeFranco and DramaAlert.

Fousey then explained in the video that it was to “show the YouTube audience how easy it is the manipulate the YouTube drama channels who report news these days. You shouldn’t believe everything you see on YouTube and you shouldn’t happy to see someone go through something negative.”The video has been met with very mixed reactions.

Some viewers feel that Fousetube made a good point that YouTube shouldn’t be about drama and the focus should instead be on spreading love and support to other creators.

Other viewers felt that Fousey was simply using it as a way to promote his channel and get more exposure. Many tweeters felt that it was wrong for him to use ‘fake drama’ as a way of combating ‘drama’.

YouTuber Leafy has been particularly vocal about his thoughts on Fouseytube’s recent videos and recently tweeted: “For the future, If I ever say I like FouseyTube, you guys know that ISIS has me hostage”.

Leafy has also spoken about the accusations against Fousey that most of his pranks are staged, and actors have even gone online to show that they were paid to be a ‘victim’ of one of his pranks.

One of the biggest stories of the last few weeks is the controversy surrounding Marina Jouce. Many of her fans grew concerned for her safety after a video was uploaded where she was acting particularly strange, as well as a few odd tweets asking fans to meet up with her at 6:30am at Bethnal Green for a party.

Marina has since spoken out about the concerns and told fans that she is not on drugs and not in danger.

However, some people have become quite sceptical that the worry of her fans has been used as a way to gain publicity and boost her channel. Since the beginning of the incident her channel has seen its subscriber count sky-rocket to over double what she had previously.

Some fans are even claiming that Marina confessed it was a publicity stunt in a recent YouNow live-stream.

In the video Marina seems to imply that she had no involvement in the publicity and that it was actually her fans behind the publicity stunt.

Angry Twitter users started using #boycottmarinajoyce to voice their frustrations. Some people claimed that she had been liking tweets from people concerned about her safety without addressing them, which they felt showed she was milking the attention.

There have been many other examples of YouTubers being accused of creating ‘fake drama’ to try and boost their profile.

Another big name is Sam Pepper, more specifically for his fake pranks. The British YouTuber confessed to staging his pranks in a video earlier this year, which happened a few days after he seemingly ‘quit YouTube‘.

Many YouTube fans felt that the confession was forced out of him when he was backed into the corner by rape allegations after a bunch pinch prank seemed to show Sam sexually assaulting strangers.

At the time Sam said: “Just because of a stupid video I made, people have come out and said complete bullsh*t about me. Of course I’m not a rapist. I wouldn’t be here today if I was.””

Despite the confession, Sam Pepper continues to make regular content for his channel, with divided likes and dislikes on each video. He even recently uploaded a video addressing his thoughts on fake pranks.

What is your opinion on fake pranks and publicity stunts on YouTube? Let us know by tweeting us at @TubeChum.

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Daniel Mackrell

Co-editor at Tube Chum
Journalist. Former Winchester Student. Chelsea fan. @WINOL Alumnus. Co-editor, @TubeChum.