- A YouTuber in Spain was sentenced to 15 months in prison and was ordered to pay 20,000 euros to the homeless man he pranked in a 2017 video.
- In the now deleted post, Kanghua Ren, known online as ReSet, gave the man Oreos filled with toothpaste, which the man says made him vomit.
- Despite the sentence, Ren is unlikely to serve time behind bars as Spanish law often grants suspended sentences for first-time nonviolent offenders.
- However, the YouTuber with roughly 1.2 million subscribers, was also ordered to stay off the platform for five years.
A 21-year-old Spanish YouTuber who pranked a homeless man by filling Oreo cookies with toothpaste was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Friday and now owes the victim 20,000 euros.
Kanghua Ren, known by his 1.2 million subscribers as ReSet, filmed a video in 2017 showing himself replacing the cream inside the cookies with toothpaste. The then 19-year-old repackaged the cookies and gave them to a homeless man who was outside of a supermarket, along with 20 euros, according to the Independent.
According to reports at the time, the homeless man who ate the cookie got sick and threw up soon after. He told the Spanish newspaper, El Pais, that he had “never been treated so poorly while living on the street.”
In the original video, which was later removed from YouTube, Ren that he “may have gone a bit far.” However, he also added, “Look at the positive side: this will help him clean his teeth. I think he hasn’t cleaned them since he became poor.”
After facing backlash for the video, the YouTuber and a friend returned to the homeless man to record another video. At that time they offered the man another 20 euros. The Independent reported that the two had the intention of filming a video with the man where they spent the night with him, but a witnessed called the police on them.
“People exaggerate over jokes in the street on a beggar, when surely if it’s done to a normal person they wouldn’t say anything,” Ren said in that video.
The man was later identified only as Gheorge L. According to El Pais, the man who is in his early 50s, was born in Romania and once worked as a shepherd before migrating to Barcelona.
According to Spanish police, Ren also offered the man’s daughter 300 euros in an attempt to get her to not pursue legal action against him.
Spanish Prosecutors were seeking a two-year prison sentence and pursuing an order for Ren to pay 30,000 euros in compensation to the man.
However, on Friday Ren was found guilty of violating the moral integrity of the homeless man. On top of his 15-month sentence and 22,000 euro compensation order, which amounts to about $22,300, the YouTuber was also ordered to shut down his YouTube channel for five years. El Pais reported that he was ordered to delete his channel during this period and is forbidden from creating a new account.
The paper also noted that he is unlikely to serve any time behind bars, as Spanish law normally allows sentences under two years for first-time offenders in nonviolent crimes to be suspended.
Ren defended himself by saying the video was just a bad joke which he has since tried to make amends over. “I do things to mount a show: People like what is morbid,” he told the court, according to reports from Spanish news outlets.
However, judge Rosa Aragones noted that Ren had earned more than 2,000 euros in advertising revenues from the Oreo prank and said, “This was not an isolated act.”
The judge said that Ren had also engaged in “cruel behavior” towards other “easy or vulnerable victims.” For instance, according to Spanish media, the YouTuber once offered sandwiches with cat excrements in them to children and elderly people in a park.
Ren recently uploaded a video to his channel on Sunday, where he warned his followed not to believe everything the media has reported.
“Do not believe everything the newspapers say, they are not completely false but they make up words to make people look bad (in this case me) and I have to upload a video explaining what happened,” he wrote in the video description in Spanish.
He said he plans on uploading a response on Monday or Tuesday. In the comment section of the video, Ren confirmed that the sentence was true, but says he will appeal.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Fox News) (The Independent)
Schools Across the U.S. Cancel Classes Friday Over Unverified TikTok Threat
Officials in multiple states said they haven’t found any credible threats but are taking additional precautions out of an abundance of safety.
Schools in no fewer than 10 states either canceled classes or increased their police presence on Friday after a series of TikToks warned of imminent shooting and bombs threats.
Despite that, officials said they found little evidence to suggest the threats are credible. It’s possible no real threat was actually ever made as it’s unclear if the supposed threats originated on TikTok, another social media platform, or elsewhere.
“We handle even rumored threats with utmost seriousness, which is why we’re working with law enforcement to look into warnings about potential violence at schools even though we have not found evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok,” TikTok’s Communications team tweeted Thursday afternoon.
Still, given the uptick of school shootings in the U.S. in recent years, many school districts across the country decided to respond to the rumors. According to The Verge, some districts in California, Minnesota, Missouri, and Texas shut down Friday.
“Based on law enforcement interviews, Little Falls Community Schools was specifically identified in a TikTok post related to this threat,” one school district in Minnesota said in a letter Thursday. “In conversations with local law enforcement, the origins of this threat remain unknown. Therefore, school throughout the district is canceled tomorrow, Friday, December 17.”
In Gilroy, California, one high school that closed its doors Friday said it would reschedule final exams that were expected to take place the same day to January.
According to the Associated Press, several other districts in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania stationed more police officers at their schools Friday.
Viral Misinformation or Legitimate Warnings?
As The Verge notes, “The reports of threats on TikTok may be self-perpetuating.”
For example, many of the videos online may have been created in response to initial warnings as more people hopped onto the trend. Amid school cancellations, videos have continued to sprout up — many awash with both rumors and factual information.
“I’m scared off my ass, what do I do???” one TikTok user said in a now-deleted video, according to People.
“The post is vague and not directed at a specific school, and is circulating around school districts across the country,” Chicago Public Schools said in a letter, though it did not identify any specific post. “Please do not re-share any suspicious or concerning posts on social media.”
According to Dr. Amy Klinger, the director of programs for the nonprofit Educator’s School Safety Network, “This is not 2021 phenomenon.”
Instead, she told The Today Show that her network has been tracking school shooting threats since 2013, and she noted that in recent years, they’ve become more prominent on social media.
“It’s not just somebody in a classroom of 15 people hearing someone make a threat,” she said. “It’s 15,000 people on social media, because it gets passed around and it becomes larger and larger and larger.”
Jake Paul Says He “Can’t Get Cancelled” as a Boxer
The controversial YouTuber opened up about what it has been like to go from online fame to professional boxing.
The New Yorker Profiles Jake Paul
YouTuber and boxer Jake Paul talked about his career switch, reputation, and cancel culture in a profile published Monday in The New Yorker.
While Paul rose to fame as the Internet’s troublemaker, he now spends most of his time in the ring. He told the outlet that one difference between YouTube and boxing is that his often controversial reputation lends better to his new career.
“One thing that is great about being a fighter is, like, you can’t get cancelled,” Paul said. The profile noted that the sport often rewards and even encourages some degree of bad behavior.
“I’m not a saint,” Paul later continued. “I’m also not a bad guy, but I can very easily play the role.”
Paul also said the other difference between his time online and his time in boxing is the level of work. While he says he trains hard, he confessed that there was something more challenging about making regular YouTube content.
“Being an influencer was almost harder than being a boxer,” he told The New Yorker. “You wake up in the morning and you’re, like, Damn, I have to create fifteen minutes of amazing content, and I have twelve hours of sunlight.”
Jake Paul Vs. Tommy Fury
The New Yorker profile came just after it was announced over the weekend Paul will be fighting boxer Tommy Fury in an 8-round cruiserweight fight on Showtime in December.
“It’s time to kiss ur last name and ur family’s boxing legacy goodbye,” Paul tweeted. “DEC 18th I’m changing this wankers name to Tommy Fumbles and celebrating with Tom Brady.”
Both Paul and Fury are undefeated, according to ESPN. Like Paul, Fury has found fame outside of the sport. He has become a reality TV star in the U.K. after appearing on the hit show “Love Island.”
See what others are saying: (The New Yorker) (Dexerto) (ESPN)
Hackers Hit Twitch Again, This Time Replacing Backgrounds With Image of Jeff Bezos
The hack appears to be a form of trolling, though it’s possible that the infiltrators were able to uncover a security flaw while reviewing Twitch’s newly-leaked source code.
Hackers targeted Twitch for a second time this week, but rather than leaking sensitive information, the infiltrators chose to deface the platform on Friday by swapping multiple background images with a photo of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
According to those who saw the replaced images firsthand, the hack appears to have mostly — and possibly only — affected game directory headers. Though the incident appears to be nothing more than a surface-level prank, as Amazon owns Twitch, it could potentially signal greater security flaws.
For example, it’s possible the hackers could have used leaked internal security data from earlier this week to discover a network vulnerability and sneak into the platform.
The latest jab at the platforms came after Twitch assured its users it has seen “no indication” that their login credentials were stolen during the first hack. Still, concerns have remained regarding the potential for others to now spot cracks in Twitch’s security systems.
It’s also possible the Bezos hack resulted from what’s known as “cache poisoning,” which, in this case, would refer to a more limited form of hacking that allowed the infiltrators to manipulate similar images all at once. If true, the hackers likely would not have been able to access Twitch’s back end.
The photo changes only lasted several hours before being returned to their previous conditions.
First Twitch Hack
Despite suspicions and concerns, it’s unclear whether the Bezos hack is related to the major leak of Twitch’s internal data that was posted to 4chan on Wednesday.
That leak exposed Twitch’s full source code — including its security tools — as well as data on how much Twitch has individually paid every single streamer on the platform since August 2019.
It also revealed Amazon’s at least partially developed plans for a cloud-based gaming library, codenamed Vapor, which would directly compete with the massively popular library known as Steam.
Even though Twitch has said its login credentials appear to be secure, it announced Thursday that it has reset all stream keys “out of an abundance of caution.” Users are still being urged to change their passwords and update or implement two-factor authentication if they haven’t already.