16 votes

A twenty-year-old man was fatally shot while filming a YouTube "prank" robbery

12 comments

  1. [4]
    nukeman
    Link
    I’ve been wondering when something like this would happen. Why would you perform a “prank” upon strangers where they would believe their life is in danger? If they have reason to believe their...

    I’ve been wondering when something like this would happen. Why would you perform a “prank” upon strangers where they would believe their life is in danger? If they have reason to believe their life is in imminent danger, they have a right to self-defense, including lethal force. I think some rando approaching with a butcher knife in hand counts.

    As an aside, when did pranks become mean? I remember seeing YouTube pranks that were fun for both the prankster and the prankstee (like the invisible driver at the drive-thru).

    18 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yeah, sadly I think this was inevitable, especially with YouTube seemingly not doing much to try to curb the trend. They updated their community guidelines last year to ban "Dangerous or...

      Yeah, sadly I think this was inevitable, especially with YouTube seemingly not doing much to try to curb the trend. They updated their community guidelines last year to ban "Dangerous or threatening pranks", but they clearly don't enforce that very well, as evidenced by the fact that "robbery prank" videos keep getting made, and keep getting millions of views. E.g. 11,791,400 views

      Which probably answers your question about motivation, and also explains why pranks turned so mean...
      $$$, attention, and lots of it.

      10 votes
      1. DanBC
        Link Parent
        They have rules about animal cruelty. Don't search "electric mouse trap" because there are dozens of videos of mice and rats being killed.

        They have rules about animal cruelty. Don't search "electric mouse trap" because there are dozens of videos of mice and rats being killed.

        5 votes
    2. JXM
      Link Parent
      It's basically a race to outdo all of the previous pranks that were done by other YouTubers, so it's a constant stream of oneupsmanship that runs unchecked for years, leading to pranks that get...

      It's basically a race to outdo all of the previous pranks that were done by other YouTubers, so it's a constant stream of oneupsmanship that runs unchecked for years, leading to pranks that get people killed.

      7 votes
  2. [5]
    RNG
    Link
    It must be intensely traumatizing to first believe you and your friends are in mortal danger, make the life-altering decision to use lethal force in self defense, then find out they weren't a...

    When officers arrived, 23-year-old David Starnes Jr. admitted that he had shot Wilks, believing himself and others to be in danger. According to police, Wilks and a friend approached a group of people, including Starnes, with butcher knives. It was supposed to be a prank robbery for a YouTube video, the friend told detectives.

    It must be intensely traumatizing to first believe you and your friends are in mortal danger, make the life-altering decision to use lethal force in self defense, then find out they weren't a threat in the first place. This guy who was being pranked likely has had the course of his life changed by the negligence of those chasing fame. Not to say anything of the families of the perpetrators.

    17 votes
    1. JXM
      Link Parent
      This is definitely one of those things that has massive ripple effects. One person died, but his entire family and the entire family of the victim of the prank and their family are going to be...

      This is definitely one of those things that has massive ripple effects. One person died, but his entire family and the entire family of the victim of the prank and their family are going to be immeasurably impacted for years.

      10 votes
    2. nukeman
      Link Parent
      I’m planning on obtaining my concealed weapons permit here in South Carolina, and I think about this sort of thing often. I hope I never have to use a firearm on another human being. Even in cases...

      I’m planning on obtaining my concealed weapons permit here in South Carolina, and I think about this sort of thing often. I hope I never have to use a firearm on another human being. Even in cases where it is clear they intend to do harm (and thus where there is overwhelming justification to use lethal force in self-defense), I would still probably be wracked with feelings of guilt and sadness over ending another person’s life.

      4 votes
    3. [2]
      ryanatkn
      Link Parent
      Growing up in the US I heard so many times how litigious people are, how they'll sue you for anything, with huge pain and suffering settlements and judgments in civil court. I don't know how to...

      Growing up in the US I heard so many times how litigious people are, how they'll sue you for anything, with huge pain and suffering settlements and judgments in civil court. I don't know how to reconcile this with the apparent abundance of traumatic "pranks" on social media.

      2 votes
      1. Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        You can't reconcile them because "people in the US will sue you for anything" was a lie. Adam Ruins Everything 6 minute video summary of McDonalds Case that started it all the part relevant to...
        • Exemplary

        You can't reconcile them because "people in the US will sue you for anything" was a lie.

        Adam Ruins Everything 6 minute video summary of McDonalds Case that started it all the part relevant to frivolous lawsuits begins at 3:00

        List of all sources for the video

        To make it so people have to use less clicks, direct link to the two sources I think deal the most with your statement:
        Deal, Carl and Joanne Doroshow. The CALA Files - The Secret Campaign by Big Tobacco and Other Major Industries to Take Away Your Rights. New York: New York Law School, 1999. Web.

        Haltom, William and Michael McCann. Distorting the Law: Politics, Media and the Litigation Crisis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

        11 votes
  3. [2]
    oryx
    Link
    Like obviously the outcome of this is sad but what do people expect to happen when you pull out a weapon and threaten a stranger?

    Like obviously the outcome of this is sad but what do people expect to happen when you pull out a weapon and threaten a stranger?

    5 votes
    1. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      They expect nothing more than views. They believe they live in a world where their intentions/these pranks are widely known and so there can be no consequences for their actions.

      They expect nothing more than views. They believe they live in a world where their intentions/these pranks are widely known and so there can be no consequences for their actions.

      10 votes
  4. rish
    Link
    Geez.

    Robbery pranks remain popular on YouTube, with some videos getting millions of views.

    Geez.

    5 votes