Who is Mizzy? Introducing the TikToker whose chase for internet clout went too far – SCREENSHOT Media

Who is Mizzy? Introducing the TikToker whose chase for internet clout went too far

By Jack Ramage

Published May 31, 2023 at 09:38 AM

Reading time: 4 minutes

Mizzy has been living his life like it’s a GTA lobby for quite some time now. From riding a bicycle into McDonald’s to hitching a ride on the roof of a London double-decker bus, the 18-year-old TikToker had amassed widespread virality before his account was removed from the platform on 23 May 2023.

But it’s his recent spree of more extreme content, ranging from harassing Hasidic Jews to stealing strangers’ dogs and walking into random people’s houses that has caused a stir. So, who is Mizzy? And what draws people to create increasingly extreme and invasive content?

Who is Mizzy?

If you haven’t guessed already, Mizzy (real name Bacari-Bronze O’Garro) is an influencer best known for his outlandish pranks and stunts. According to an interview with The Independent, he began creating content during his eighth year in school after reportedly being expelled on three occasions.

In the interview, Mizzy revealed that he noticed a pattern in his content’s engagement as he progressively escalated the audacity of his pranks. In his words, he “upped the ante and did wilder videos.”

“Controversy, even though it’s not good, is the best way to blow up on social media,” he further told the publication. “I always know outrage is going to happen. I know exactly what I’m doing and the consequences of my actions. I tell people not to reciprocate what I’ve done.”

The creator first ran into the law back in February, when he was taken into custody on charges of assault after posting videos that seemed to depict him harassing individuals of the Hasidic Jewish community. One video captured him approaching a young Haredi man from behind and attempting to leapfrog over him. Another clip featured him cycling while wearing a distinctive hat, exclaiming, “Guys, I’m a fucking Jew.” He was later arrested for racially aggravated assault.

Fast forward to May and Mizzy was still at it, this time with even more extreme content. His recent spout of controversy, showcasing the influencer walking into a home in London without consent, arguably caused the most public outrage. In the video, the TikToker can be observed, accompanied by two others, exclaiming, “Walking into random houses, let’s go.” The footage captures him entering through an unlocked front door, and proceeding to sit on the sofa before being asked to leave by the occupants.

Mizzy stated that he visited the house the following day to offer his apologies. “I wouldn’t do that again,” he acknowledged, adding, “It could have been the best or worst decision of my life.” Both his TikTok account and YouTube page have been taken down from the respective platforms. A spokesperson from TikTok said: “Our Community Guidelines are clear that we prohibit content promoting criminal activity. In relation to this issue, we have banned accounts for violating these guidelines.”

Just this week commencing 29 May, Mizzy breached his court-ordered social media ban and released footage which stands him accused of endangering safety after entering a train driver’s cab and interfering with the controls and safety equipment in Stratford, East London. Is there anything this man won’t do for internet clout?

The dangerous cycle of making extreme content for views

Prior to popular belief, Mizzy’s type of content isn’t anything new or revolutionary. “The culture surrounding pranking and extreme content online has been a social phenomenon for decades,” Dr Gareth Longstaff, lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Newcastle University told SCREENSHOT.

“For instance, in the early 00s and late 90s, shows like Jackass were clearly monetised and strategised around the notion of pranks, with each becoming more extreme in how they were executed. In my opinion, Mizzy is pushing this further through a new platform, but is also responding to the social and cultural shifts that already exist.”

In recent internet history, connections can be made between Mizzy and Logan Paul’s infamous suicide forest controversy in 2017, where Paul amassed 6.3 million views within 24 hours of uploading a video depicting a censored corpse in Japan. Countless other insensitive pranksters who made their fame on social media by posting progressively more extreme content draw similarities too—anyone remember Sam Pepper? And let’s not forget Nikocado Avocado, who gained online notoriety by producing mukbang content so extreme he’s practically eating himself to death.

All of these creators illustrate a nuanced and rarely considered problem within social media content today: audience capture. In essence, audience capture refers to the instance where influencers begin to mirror their followers’ demands, posture, beliefs, and interests. Think of it like the classic snowball effect: as an influence starts to gain recognition for a certain type of content, they’re pushed to make the last piece of content more extreme and controversial for the sake of retaining views and identity.

“It all comes down to excess,” Longstaff adds. “Both Nikocado Avocado and Mizzy create content with the desire to push something excessively towards the most controversial and unacceptable places possible. But there is also a clear desire from audiences to want to watch this sort of content and consume it—that’s the sadness here.”

Why do people enjoy watching extreme pranks?

Indeed, the instance of extreme content produced by influences—whether that be eating yourself into an early grave, or breaking into a stranger’s home—doesn’t just reflect the habits of creators, it reflects what’s happening in the minds of consumers too. “There’s a long history of desensitisation here,” Longstaff notes. “I think, when you really dig into the media landscape, whether that’s through social media or other forms of visual content, we have commercialised that which is shocking and horrific.”

“Mizzy isn’t the first person to do this—he’s just pushing the boundaries. But more broadly, this idea that we’re actually getting some sort of pleasure, or views, from watching people be harmed from a distance or put into shocking situations is something widely seen in social media,” Longstaff continues.

In other words, as a society we’ve grown desensitised to shocking or morbid content—only when it crosses a boundary, such as in Mizzy’s case, does it cause a backlash from the general public. This, as Longstaff mentions, is in part due to social media and the distancing of reality caused by it, going on to explain that there is “a gap when watching content online compared to if you were watching something in person. It doesn’t seem to encroach on your everyday existence because it’s mediated—it’s almost an act of sanitising that which is horrific or shocking through contextually framing it through social media.”

Ultimately, the case of Mizzy, and other influencers who seek extreme content for more clicks, is a complex and multifaceted issue. While at first glance, Mizzy may seem like an audacious outlier, the type of content he produces actually reflects a wider trend in digital culture: where creators can be trapped in a dangerous loop, constantly chasing the most extreme and head-turning type of content.

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