Pranks

Is it sinful to enjoy stories or videos of pranks (I suppose it would depend on the kind of prank)? I was watching some drive-thru pranks (headless driver, ghost driver, etc.) and was laughing but then wondered if this was okay because they were deceiving the workers and weren’t asking for permission to show them online.

Can’t answer the sin part, but without permssion is not good. However, could the permission have been given after the prank but before being posted online?
Without permission, I wouldn’t watch, but then, I despise pranks that have even the slightest chance of scaring someone beyond what they can handle. And since we can never assume what someone can handle…
Someone did this to me BEFORE my diagnosis of anxiety (some us startle WAAAY to easily). I said things that cannot be typed here. This, after I kicked him hard in the chest in self defense…
Just sayin’…

I saw those videos too. They were really funny. None of the people in the video looked extremely upset over the prank. At most, just a little startled. Most of them were laughing. If the person’s reaction would be really embarrassing for them, then it would be wrong to post it. Those seemed to be in good taste to me though.

I’d have to agree that it depends on whether sufficient care was given to the dignity of the “victim” throughout – from the design of the prank right through the posting of the video.

There are far too many pranks which are designed for maximum “scare”. There’s a whole series on YouTube involving a coffin with a “corpse” in an elevator, in which the victim cannot get away, for example. There’s a Japanese prankster called “The Screamer” whose whole schtick is to run up behind someone and scream as loudly as possible. What if he picks someone with a weak heart? And neither of those series gives any indication that the victim consented to having the video distributed.

And there was the incident a few months ago of the hospital receptionist who committed suicide after being pranked by a couple of Australian radio DJs, who duped her into revealing Kate Middleton’s private medical records by impersonating the Queen and Prince Charles.

There’s a much milder series out of Australia; one often sees these in-flight. The pranks are largely harmless, and the videos at the end show the pranksters revealing the cameras to the victims, who appear to be good-natured about the whole thing.

I don’t know if a prank is a mortal sin. However, I know that the local Catholic high school has a psychology class for junior or senior students and the Catholic teacher gives students projects which amount to playing a prank at the mall, such as falling down and playing injured or dead, and observing the reactions of the people nearby. I hope that this would not be a mortal sin for the students. It seems like if it were a mortal sin, it would be more of a sin on the part of the Catholic teacher and the Catholic school authorities who allow it.

I could see this as a teaching aid; it does not involve fear or 'startling’someone.
There’s a summmer show that does this; “What Would YOU do?” Some of these experiments seem less than real…
But cornering someone in an elevator? Mean, mean, mean…

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