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Street harassment of women is a dirty way to get pageviews on YouTube

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.

Sam Pepper isn't the only YouTuber that's harassing women to get pageviews

Sam Pepper is a greasy 25-year-old from the U.K. who has made a name for himself producing videos on YouTube. But it was his latest jaunt, poetically titled "Fake hand ass pinch" that brought him to the media's attention.

The video "prank," which YouTube has since removed, showed Pepper approaching random, usually beautiful, women on the street, diverting their attention with a benign question about directions, and then using a prosthetic hand to grab their rear ends. Their freaked-out reaction to being groped by a stranger was the punchline. Get it?

In response, YouTube sex education activist Laci Green wrote and circulated a letter amongst the YouTube community which called Pepper out and was signed by thousands. She then made an awesome response video which explained that Pepper is not the only YouTube personality who has been harassing women for a laugh and pageviews. There are several obnoxious YouTubers that need to be stopped.

Green points out there's a big difference between women who were willing to sign a release form for the video and scripted actresses who know what to expect. She also explains that the videos we see are only the edited versions. We have no way of knowing how many horrified reactions were cut out during the editing process.

We agree with Green. Women don't want to be pressured into making out with creepy guys on camera, and we certainly don't want dirty man parts flung around in our faces so that others can have a laugh. Whether our reactions to these obscene pranks are funny, or not, doesn't matter. This is harassment, and harassing women as a gimmick for pageviews is simply not OK.

To help make it stop, report offensive videos you find while browsing YouTube. Women deserve to be treated with respect, not as viral click bait.

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