Disclaimer: Originally published in May 2017. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today. 

FlippED is An ED Original style wherein two bloggers come together to share their opposing or orthogonal perspectives on an interesting subject.

Prank videos are the new in thing on the internet. Almost everyone seems to be making prank videos in the name of content. Here, our bloggers debate about the good and bad side of prank videos.

“What is just a prank to you might be aggravating someone’s insecurities. Only an elementary kid with zilch understanding can find prank videos funny.”

~ Yogita Rathore

I don’t know when comedy became just a way to ridicule someone. Like all jokes on people’s insecurities and apprehensions weren’t enough that this prank video culture has begun.

All these “wannabe YouTubers” labelling playing pranks on people as “creating content” are outright dumb and stupid.

I have seen videos of people pulling off pranks like throwing colours on random people, body shaming strangers, stealing stuff in the name of a prank, making noise in public places to get a reaction from people… and the list of sheer stupidity is endless.

Prank Videos

Do you really think no one gets hurt in pulling off these pranks? Someone might be getting late for work when you throw stuff on his/her clothes. Someone might be going to a date when you royally screw up their mood by calling him/her names for the sake of a prank.

And let’s for a second assume, no one physically gets hurt in the making of these prank videos. What about the scars that you cause someone by hitting him/her right at his/her insecurities?

For your own pleasure, a shot at fame and monetary benefits you are ready to scar someone for all their life?

Also, if you say ‘Impractical Jokers‘ are making people laugh with prank videos understand how it’s not the same. Let me just tell you that in the show the hosts play pranks on each other.

All the hosts on the show have agreed and given their consent for all the pranks that they are a part of. And I am pretty sure they have set licenses and agreements where they aren’t allowed to do pranks which can outrage masses.

Consented and well thought out pranks are different from what random YouTubers are doing these days. I am walking on a street, minding my business and you do something which I didn’t give my consent for is wrong no matter what.

And if all these arguments did not please you, let me just ask you, would you not kill someone if they play a prank like a ghost is following you or they make you believe your child is dead or your partner cheated on you?

Well, your answer sums up my case.

If you enjoy people slipping, getting weirded out and ridiculed but get mad when the same happens to you, you sir are a hypocrite of the greatest degree!

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“The idea is not to portray as to who can be the funniest or the most extreme. The idea is to accept comedy in its truest, most unbiased and unedited form.”

~ Sahib Singh

Now where one might argue the severity of the consequences that prank videos might hold, I ask you to hold your horses and think first as to what we’re dealing with here.

Here, we talk about the idea of a “prank” which is always intended to be inflicted in a manner that at the end of the day, NO ONE GETS HURT and that obviously includes the person on whom the prank is being pulled on.

Instead, what we get in return in most of the general issues against prank videos is that it’s not the person who’s the apparent “victim” of the prank who has a problem but it’s rather the ones around him/her, who somehow think of themselves as the flag bearers of the ethics committee of today’s keyboard-influenced generation, on steroids.

Understand this: Prank videos are never meant to hurt, inflict severe damage or cause trauma.

Sure, there’s always the element of surprise which may be elevated to certain extreme levels in some situations but the idea to base an argument on a hypothetical situation where even the law of percentages looks at you and gives you a stink-eye as if you’re high, the harsh reality is that you most likely are.

Pretty simply, we don’t get to judge and subjectivity may only hit us when we’re a part of a prank.

What we need to grasp here is that even after negating the concept of fame and monetary profitability of prank videos which almost guarantee a shot to fame, people WILL still indulge in making these videos as a simple avenue for humour.

To bring the argument of ethics in a grey area where the sole objective is humour on a personal as well as a social scale is vehemently stupid.

If you don’t believe the rhetoric, then let’s be practical.

Coming from a generation where we’ve essentially grown up laughing at prank videos and shows like “Scare Tactics”, “Just For Laughs” or even “Impractical Jokers”, the arguments that we pose on the basics of being morally, ethically and politically incorrect are rendered null and void as they sharply highlight our own hypocrisy.

So, let’s calm our wits here and stop being butt-hurt. Enjoy prank videos for what they are and what they intend to provide: humour.

Picture Credits: Google Images

Sources: Yahoo News, New Statesman

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