Ethics, emotion, logic – are the appeals that could make a content go viral. This is from Jonah Berger’s Interest on marketing that made Aristotle’s three principle entirely modern. Every day, something spreads to millions of people in the web powered by people sharing things with their friends or family—may it be a quote, a simple nothing, cute animals that deserves a spot in our feeds or even political stands. Social media is an excellent medium to promote a content, it is an ideal platform to reach a much wider audience in just a matter of clicks, alone. Every little thought that wants to be heard can be online. But take full caution for its viral nature and peer to peer interaction, we can no longer control the message. And this messages could be in forms of encouragement, or an insult. There are plenty of posts that can translate into “red flags” for other people, such as crude or provocative photos, discriminatory comments, trash-talking and posts about racism.
Face-palming, cringe-giving, and eye rolling online posts sometimes makes people want to delete account, shut down social media and move to another planet. Now with Social media, idiocy has a voice and a platform. You will be amazed at some of the idiotic comments and posts people put up online. Idiocy as defined by Olga Oriunov, is about gathering and crafting ‘rubbish’ that does not give answers or that has direct access to truth, but that enquiries and stages encounters with the real through its force of insignificant, false and preposterous doings.
In this blog, we will talk about one of the 3 folds of humor stated in the article: Parodic—is a work that uses imitation. Some parodies that hit the internet went huge due to its power of laughter but some was a big hit not only for its capacity to make people laugh but also because of its element that contradicts people of society.
One classic example of which is the Series of Arab public scare Prank video compilation that was a viral video that resonated among netizens that its first upload gathered 4,294,951 views on youtube and 35,760,185 views, 49,684 shares, 115,000 reactions and 15, 384 comments on facebook as of press time and is still being re-uploded by various users in different social platforms.
The videos shows a man dressed in traditional Arabic-style robes throwing a suspicious parcel or asking to hold for a second a bag or give an alpaca and at random strangers before running off and sparking the panic. This footage is from a facebook page of three men calling themselves the “Jalals”. These Jalal brothers, with no apparent reason dressed as a militant Muslim with an Arab turban and a beard thought it would be fun to prank innocent unsuspecting civilians not once but countless number of tries in series of video compilations.
The first set of videos are called “Public Bomb Prank” where they throw a bag in an area with people and they would run away that causes the people in the area to crazily “save their lives” by ridiculously running away too.
Video #1: https://www.facebook.com/JalalsOfficial/videos/739068389570085/
153K reactions, 100k comments, 11M views, and 463K shares
Video #2: https://www.facebook.com/JalalsOfficial/videos/804310299712560/
887 reactions, 503k comments, 88M views, and 2M shares
Video #3: https://www.facebook.com/JalalsOfficial/videos/741369302673327/
314K reactions, 103k comments, 23M views, and 400k shares
Video #4: https://www.facebook.com/JalalsOfficial/videos/752366571573600/
156k reactions, 38k comments, 12M views and 190k shares
Video #5: https://www.facebook.com/JalalsOfficial/videos/766207746856149/
145K reactions, 26K comments, 10M views, and 101K shares
Video #6: https://www.facebook.com/JalalsOfficial/videos/838633312946925/
188K reactions, 28K comments, 12M views, and 124K shares
Video #7: https://www.facebook.com/JalalsOfficial/videos/870376429772613/
320K reactions, 80K comments, 42M views, and 597K shares
This bomb scare pranks garnered different reactions from all kinds of people. Some said they were entertained and it was hilarious but others weren’t so happy about it.
“During these times where Muslims are being put on the forefront and being mass labeled as terrorists, don’t you think that doing something like this only hurts them even more especially since there are a lot Of dumb ass people out there that already believe that all Muslims are terrorists?”- Kevin Neely
“This the dumbest shat I’ve ever seen… this shit not only can get you killed but the person you’re doing the prank on… suppose that “bomb” you threw in the car the driver panicked and hit the gas into on coming traffic.. a$$ holes will do anything now days for views.” – Romarise Williams
Regardless of the comments that the group called ‘hilarious’ they continued to upload pranks, and now on its second season. They upgraded the bomb bag with a dynamite looking thing and gives it to random people. What’s quite different now is they would literally lit the ‘dynamite’ before running away.
136K reactions, 21K comments, 9.1M views and 161K shares
And it did not stop there, the latest video pranks now involve a baby doll wrapped in cloth so people would think it is real and an alpaca. With the same drill as before, it still continues to haunt people and making fun of how they stumble and ran away.
95K reactions, 10k coments, 5.6M views, and 44K shares
157K reactions, 13K comments, 8M views and 50K shares
Admit it or not, we are all somehow brainwashed by the media that the depiction of Arabs. We are all in some way part of Racial Stereotyping. Racial stereotypes are automatic and exaggerated mental pictures that we hold about all members of a particular racial group. And for others Arab always begins with being a Muslim. When in reality Arabs make up only about 1/3 of the total worldwide Muslim population of over one billion people. And with that comes, muslims are terrorists. Many non-Muslims regard Islam as a religion that promotes violence, terrorism, and war –this is why people fear mean who wear the traditional arab clothes out on the streets. We develop our racial stereotypes in a variety of ways, on a very simple level, it’s human nature to categorize people to make the world smaller for us. As we grow older and are influenced by the media, our tendency to label different groups as superior or inferior , good or bad increases significantly. Hollywood films have been vilifying Arabs for decades, they are either billionaires, bombers or belly dancers in movies. This is one of the main reasons why people were alarmed by this type of pranks, not only does it promote racism but also heats up the thought that islam or arabs are terrorists and equating the Muslim garb as a costume to be feared.
There’s no law stating we can’t wear other races’ traditional clothes. We can wear these clothes out on the street any time but with proper caution. Wearing traditional attire is different from dressing up as another race or creating a notion that you are disrespecting others tradition. This video isn’t the first time that the Arab traditional clothe was violated. In fact, this is a big issue specially during Halloween costume parties.
Let us not go any farther, our very own Senator Tito Sotto was backlashed for this. The actor turned politician was under fire from Muslims in our country after he turned up in the traditional Arab men’s garment, called thawb, for Eat Bulaga’s Halloween special in November 2015. Mujiv Sabbihi Hataman, governor of Philippines’ Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao lashed out at the actor for his decision to wear the traditional Muslim clothing for a Halloween event where people generally are dressed in costumes resembling spooky characters. The governor argued that Sotto was portraying Muslims as troublemakers and mocks the image of muslin in the name of entertainment and promotes Islamophobia. But nevertheless, critics was not powerful enough to make him apologize in public. He argued that the costume was to honor his Arab friend and that there was nothing wrong with what he did.
(Photo courtesy of Philippine Daily)
Yes, the Senator did not do anything disrespectful while wearing the outfit but can he not be more sensitive of the occasion while he was wearing it? What stays in the mind of people is that he wore that for Halloween –a season where monster, witches, spooky creatures dominate. And there he was, downplaying promoting hate. Halloween is the time to be scary. Does this mean he portrays this costume as somewhat scary? Nonetheless, it took offense to our Muslim brothers and sisters.
Whatever our reasons, may it be plain entertainment or just for a costume, people cannot use this excuse as a time to be offensive. People dress up as celebrities, cops, politicians, and other powerful figures, and it can be funny. But when you dress up as a culture that is currently oppressed, or have a subjugated past, you’re not inverting anything, you’re just kicking them all the way down. We are all aware of how Muslims and Arabs fought this battle regarding generalizing them. Wearing Hijab does not mean terrorist. Many of us already labeled wearing it as passive terrorism and many assume that wearing the hijab and arab thawb was linked to violence and danger but in reality, it is just because of the culture of the religion.
“I’m a Muslim andnot a terrorist” was also a viral video in answer to the world’s generalization. Late November 2016 in the wake of the attacks in Paris that reignited the further anti-Muslim sentiments, YouTuber Arian Kashef posted a video on YouTube entitled “Blind Muslim Trust Experiment.” He is blindfolded, his arms outstretched, and next to him is a sign that read: “I’m Muslim and people call me a terrorist. Do you trust me? If yes, hug me.” The post had amassed 58 million views, been liked 940,000 times and been shared 919,000 times.
Idiocy problematizes the mechanization and exposure of subjectification; in other ways it is light and funny but it can also be dark in what it asks or reveal through its behavior. In line with the examples above, the surface level of the acts wants it to be entertaining and funny for its viewers but in a deeper sense, it promotes a current human condition that is not appropriate and not tolerable at all. I am deeply sorry for the wrong picture of Arab and Islam, which is being spread all around the world, making all of them terrorists. We have been fed by the notion that one race, one color, or one religion is simply higher than the other thus the result of our unequal view of our differences. People needs to start working in creating a society in which all races are valued, appreciated, and embraced not degraded nor invisible.