Why The Internet Is Furious Over This YouTube Star's Prank Video

November 30th 2015

Laura Donovan

YouTube star Sam Pepper is getting a lot of flak on social media for his prank video showing a fake murder. The prank was heavily criticized on social media Monday morning and even inspired a Change.org petition to deactivate Pepper's channel from YouTube.

Fellow YouTuber user Colby Brock, who was in on the video prank, is fake murdered while his best friend Sam Golbach, who did not know it was a prank, watches in horror. The clip opens with an unknown figure attacking Golbach in an alley and shoving him into a trunk before the camera cuts over to a Los Angeles rooftop, where Golbach and Brock are both held at gunpoint by a man in all black.

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Sam Pepper murder prank

The man "shoots" Brock in the head, causing Golbach to launch into hysterics and sob heavily. Moments later, Brock jumps up and says it was all a prank, but Golbach remains visibly upset even after the prank is revealed.

Sam Pepper murder prank

Sam Pepper murder prank

The video finishes with a clip of Golbach, Brock, and Pepper several days following the prank. Golbach appears to be laughing about the whole thing after the fact:

Sam Pepper murder prank

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The video received major backlash on social media, particularly from people who were worried about the impact it might have had on Golbach, who went on to release a Twitter statement that he is fine and hoped the video would send a positive message about not taking friends for granted:

Nevertheless, many were still disturbed by the video and noted that seeing someone die could cause serious stress, even if it turns out to be a prank. Here are some emotional and powerful reactions to it:

The Change.org petition against the video has received nearly 23,000 signatures since its creation early Monday morning.

"[Pepper] 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," petition creator Kaylee-Jade Davis wrote. "It is disgusting especially as it appears to mirror situations where people really have got killed. Sam Pepper needs to be stopped."

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