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University of Southern California sues YouTubers for pranks | Tech News

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The University of Southern California is suing two YouTube artists who the school says caused panic after they burst into classrooms to film prank videos for their channels.

Court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times claim the couple caused “terror and disruption” during three “classroom takeover incidents” at the university’s Mark Taper Hall of Humanities.

The YouTubers, Ernest Kanevsky and Yuguo Bai, are not USC students. They could not be reached for comment on Monday, and it was unclear whether they had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.

A judge issued a temporary restraining order on Friday barring the couple from USC’s downtown Los Angeles campus.

In the latest incident, on March 29, Kanevsky and Bai interrupted a Holocaust conference by claiming to be “a member of the Russian mafia” and Hugo Boss, a known maker of Nazi uniforms during World War II, according to reports. court documents.

political cartoons

Students fled the classroom – in some cases tripping over seats and leaving laptops and backpacks behind – in an effort to flee “what reasonably appeared to them to be a credible threat of imminent classroom violence. ,” the court filing reads.

Lawyers for the university said the couple’s conduct “constitutes both a public and private nuisance” which has caused fear and emotional distress among students.

In September, Kanevsky, Bai and an associate attended a data science conference and allegedly used physical intimidation to force the professor out of the classroom before taking control of the desk and subjecting the students to “insults and degrading behavior,” according to court documents.

In addition to the restraining order, the suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages, as well as attorneys’ fees and other related costs.

Kanevsy’s YouTube channel has more than 111,000 subscribers and his videos have received more than 8.3 million views, The Times reported. The channel offers prank videos at universities, gyms and restaurants, on the beach and elsewhere.

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