On January 29, 2020, a group of 4 Korean YouTubers — allegedly the Similar Boys on YouTube, popular for their experimental prank videos taken around Daegu City, Korea — got arrested by the police after their latest, most controversial video shoot.
According to Daegu citizens and the police, these YouTubers appeared at the Dongdaegu Station plaza and surrounding areas early afternoon. Two of them, dressed in white hazmat suits to mimic the government’s COVID-19 coronavirus quarantine forces, began chasing after one of their own — staging a patient on the run.
Daegu citizens, who witnessed the first round of the prank shoot, began sharing the scene on the internet. As the clip went viral on social media, it created chaos online and in the city.
Um… I think Dongdaegu Station is f*cked? There is a patient storming down the stairs with people in hazmat suits chasing after him… And the quarantine guys are shouting, ‘Park Minjae-ssi! Park Minjae-ssi!’
— Daegu Citizen
Some citizens, however, realized that the whole thing was staged once the situation kept repeating itself. One citizen called the police to report them for nuisance, though by the time authorities arrived, the YouTubers had wrapped up and moved away.
By the second round of the shoot, the YouTubers had been reported to the police again. This time, the East Daegu Police caught the pranksters in action and arrested them on site.
During the investigation, the YouTubers explained that they meant to raise awareness about the coronavirus and remind citizens to take preventative measures, like wearing masks. Shortly after, the police released the group with a warning — based on the fact that there isn’t a specific law in place to penalize them.
Meanwhile, Daegu citizens who stayed close and watched the scene, shared pictures of these masks and Similar Boys channel’s promotional stickers which the YouTubers handed out after the prank.
The channel is yet to respond to the growing allegation, but is rapidly losing subscribers for “such an immature prank”.