Four social media pranksters have been jailed for staging mock robberies and kidnappings hoaxes in Britain.
The four members of the infamous Trollstation, a YouTube channel that features staged pranks around the country, have now been arrested for performing hoax raids at London’s art galleries in July 2015.
The group has been charged with the use of threatening words and behaviors after they staged a kidnapping and caused frenzy at the Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery.
Daniel Jarvis, Endrit Ferizolli, Ebenezer Menzah and Helder Gomes, all in their 20s, wore tights on their heads to hide their faces and played the sound of an alarm as they pretended to steal paintings out of the gallery. Their stunt, which left a woman unconscious, came at a time when the London police were already on high alert following a terrorist attacks on vacationers in Tunisia.
"We hope these convictions send a strong message that unlawful activities such as these will not be tolerated in London," said Robert Short of the Crown Prosecution Service.
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However, there are many more such practical jokers who think it’s a good idea to prank unsuspecting victims.
Remember the British reality TV star, Sam Pepper, who once posted a hoax video about killing a person? Even though the man later revealed it was just a hoax, the few moments of pure terror and grief of the victim which were caught online, resulting in a lot of media backlash for Pepper.
Then just a few months ago, an extremely stupid Croatian thought it was a good idea to get dressed as an Arab and throw a fake bomb toward people — and that at a time when Europewas being rocked by a wave of terrorist incidents.
Despite the fact that these highly insensitive jokes make a mockery of people’s very real fears, the public still enjoys watching them. Trollstation has more than 718,000 subscribers and most videos have hundreds of thousands of views.
Pranks like these might seem harmless to the pranksters but they can and have cause a great deal of distress to countless people who are not in on the joke. People might excuse them by calling them humorous but it definitely calls into question the morality of the people behind them.