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When Pranks Go Wrong — Who’s At Fault?

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Having been in radio for quite a while, I have been part of many prank phone calls, these calls can be fun, but when they go wrong things can get ugly pretty quickly. 

I bring this up because of the Australian radio hosts that pranked the hospital where the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was staying.  The DJ’s pretended to be the queen and Prince Charles, they were able to talk to the nurse and were surprised that they were able to get that far with the call.

Once they call was aired, it instantly went viral and people all over the world listened, news organizations played it.  Then came the news on Friday that the nurse who was on the call, died.  I was shocked at the news, so were the Australian DJ’s, The circumstances around the death are still sketchy but some think that it was a suicide, that may have something to do with the call.

Being part of many pranks that have gone wrong, the worst thing that has happened was a couple getting a divorce.  Now the couple did not get divorced because of the call, but it did add to the angst between the two.  The two DJ’s are extremely upset thinking that they may have had something to do with her death.

There are laws now in place where it is illegal to record phone calls without prior concent, which means that if the Aussie’s did that here they would have broken the law, however, they did not break any laws in Australia.  When we did a prank call, we always asked permission to air the call, if the person refused we would not put it on the air. That is something that the DJ’s did not do, they were surprised that they were able to get to her and did not expect the call to go worldwide like it did.  It did though, and now every DJ will be extra cautious with their pranks, as they should.

 

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