The GuardianThe Guardian

‘They filmed me without my consent’: The ugly side of #kindness videos

By Elle Hunt

31 Jan 2023 · 10 min read

Editor's Note

In this Guardian article, we hear about individuals who have unwillingly become clickbait content for creators who produce "feelgood" videos for their social media accounts.

Maree only wanted to buy some shoes. A pair that she liked the look of had gone on sale, so she made a trip into the city to try them on. It was late in the day in June, mid-winter in Melbourne, and the shopping centre was quiet. After making her purchase, Maree stopped for a coffee. “And that’s when it happened,” she says.

A young man approached her holding a posy of flowers. He asked Maree to hold them for him as he put on his jacket. “I wish I’d trusted my instincts and said no,” she says. “It was all so quick.” Maree took the flowers – then the man walked away, wishing her “a lovely day”. She held them out after him, bemused.

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