Another day, another YouTube prank gone wrong!
A senseless “prank” has cost an up and coming YouTube star his freedom.
The prankster, a young content creator named Kanghua Ren who goes by the screen name ReSet, filmed himself offering a homeless man in Barcelona an Oreo cookie filled with toothpaste rather than cream.
‘This will help him clean his teeth. I think he hasn’t cleaned them since he became poor,’ Ren stated in the now deleted video.
The man got violently ill after consuming what he thought was a regular Orea cookie and the YouTuber was subsequently arrested for issuing the toxic snack and has just been handed a 15-month prison sentence for his actions.
There are literally hundreds of YouTube videos of the toothpaste-filled-Oreo prank online, however one Barcelona-based internet personality is in deep legal trouble for his participation in the tasteless prank.
In January 2017, Kanghua Ren (aka ReSet) filmed himself filling the double-stacked chocolate cookies with toothpaste and placing them back in their original packaging.
He then proceeds to give the midly toxic snacks to a man outside a supermarket in Barcelona, Spain. (The Independent has excerpts from the now-deleted video.)
The 20-year-old, who is originally from China, then captured the moment that he engaged in a brief conversation with the 52-year-old man, named by authorities as Gheorge L. before handing over the cookies along with a ???€20 bill ($22.48 USD).
Kanghua then seemingly has a moment of regret during the filming as he states:
“Maybe I’ve gone a bit far, but look at the positive side: this will help him clean his teeth. I think he hasn’t cleaned them since he became poor.”
The homeless man, who did not know Mr Kanghua and had no idea of his online presence, became ill and threw up within 5 minutes of consuming the cookies. He says he was immediately concerned for his life and felt he may have been poisoned.
Viewers reacted angrily to the video and Kanghua, who has accumulated almost 100 million views on his channel, later returned with a friend to visit the homeless man to record another video.
Kanghua had the intention of using the homeless man for internet content again by spending the night with him and capturing it on video, however a concerned witness called the police to intervene.
Kanghua later deleted the video and offered the homeless man’s daughter €300 (337.29usd) in return for not filing a lawsuit and in an effort to “reestablish his image” and “ingratiate himself with public opinion”.
Despite his attempts, Kanghua soon faced charges in Barcelona of a crime against moral integrity.
In his defense, the young YouTuber said that the video was just a bad joke, for which he had later sought to make amends. He also admits that he pushed the envelope for clicks and views, “I do things to mount a show: People like what is morbid,” he told the court.
The judge noted that Kanghua earned more than €2,000 (2247.58usd) in advertising revenue generated by the tasteless video, one of several he filmed in response to various challenges received from his followers.
In response, the Barcelona court issued Kanghua a 15-months prison sentence and a €22,000 ($24,647 USD) fine for violating the “moral integrity” of the homeless man. The court also ordered Ren to shut down his YouTube and social media accounts for five years.
It’s not the first time the vlogger has been involved in questionable activity for his YouTube check, prosecutors claim he’d previously offered sandwiches filled with his cats’ excrement to children and elderly people.