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On TikTok and YouTube, Darrell Moten turned random strangers pranks into a million followers

Daryl Moten, like much of the world, forgot that Omegle existed until the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020. He remembered that when he was younger he used to watch YouTubers play with the site – a free platform where strangers connect with all over the world. Around the world randomized each other and talking over a webcam – and they thought there was likely to be a comeback because so many people desperately needed companionship.

Moten, 20, had previous YouTube experience having created his first channel as a kid in 2013 making videos about Minecraft and Club Penguin. His new channel, SomethingAboutChickens, was to become the Omegle Channel with his own role on it. He downloaded new software, learned some editing tricks, and then started putting it into practice – creating incredibly popular combos for him during random encounters, playing pranks and doing what could best be described as digital magic tricks.

In some of Moten’s most-watched videos, which regularly attract millions of views, he appears to be in the same room with the person he’s talking to, or have his head spinning 360 degrees like the possessed girl in The Exorcist. In a few of his videos recently, Moten looks like a little kid thanks to an eerily clever and persuasive filter. When people inquire as to why the kid’s liquidator Moten is so late, he tends to the camera to reveal his true face, often causing the stranger on the other side of the screen to break out in shock and laughter.

“I’ve always loved the idea of ​​having a normal conversation with someone and then suddenly something weird happens, like I’m flying in the air or my head is turning, just because you don’t expect it at all,” Moten said. from the inside. “These weird things are always fun and interesting to me.”

Moten now has 1.4 million subscribers on YouTube and over 400,000 TikTok followers. It could take hours upon hours to get the reactions Moten envisions to the video he’s planning. While people often think that it lasts on Omegle for a short period of time, it can actually take several days from 8pm. to 2 a.m. before he satisfied himself with one video clip.

On a few occasions, people contacted Moten to ask if they could be taken out of the video. If this happens, Moten said to cut it off immediately. He also has a model on his channel and his Instagram DMs are open, so if anyone isn’t comfortable being included, they can ask him directly.

“My videos are getting a lot of views and so not many people want to be put in this position, so I definitely understand,” Moten said. “If you want to be removed, I will remove you.”

On TikTok and YouTube, Darrell Moten turned random strangers pranks into a million followers
Moten likes to pull pranks on strangers online to see how they will react.SomethingAboutChickens/YouTube

Moten also documents the racism he encounters on Omegle

Although the bulk of Moten’s videos are gay pranks, he also documents the racism and vitriol he faces from strangers while using the platform as a black man. In a minute-long video Moten posted on Twitter on October 19, which was viewed more than 3 million times, he was instantly insulted by three laughing white young women. In other videos, many people call it the N word once the chat is connected.

Moten believes these interactions, of which he has posted some videos on Twitter and TikTok, are speaking for themselves. He said that spending so much time creating videos on Omegle means that facing racism and abuse is fundamentally inevitable.

“It’s sad that this has happened,” he told Insider. “I’m obligated to meet these kind of people and that’s a shame. But you know, it’s definitely the way of the world.”

Being exposed to such blatant abuse – often from people his age or younger – is certainly something Moten’s concern, but he says he’s had plenty of positive experiences on Omegle, too.

“It’s always the new ideas and concepts I have for my videos that make it such a good time,” he said. “You just have to filter out all the crazy people.”

He has kept in touch with the few thousand people he is estimated to have met on the platform, although he admits that getting to the point of wanting to exchange contact information is pretty rare.

“I don’t go there to make friends,” Moten said. “I just go there just to mess around and do some light joking.”

Moten's style of editing could be described as digital magic.SomethingAboutChickens/YouTube
Moten’s style of editing could be described as digital magic.SomethingAboutChickens/YouTube

“They are just their own entity of people.”

Whether someone will get the kind of reaction they’re looking for is a gut feeling they’ve built up over the past two years of making these videos. Moten said it’s hard to say exactly how he knows someone is going to be a good subject, but he’s learned to read about people on Omegle who tend to be their own “breed of humans.”

“They are just their own entity,” Moten said. “You get crowds of people out there with friends, just there to hang around, there just because they’re drinking and they don’t have anything else to do and they’re on their own. It’s definitely great just seeing the different types of people you connect with on a website that is literally a free domain of like that.”

Moten is also recognized almost every time he signs up for an Omegle, because it has become a staple on the site.

“It’s great to meet these guys because, to me, they’re such a really die-hard fan and that’s great,” he said. “This is something I never would have imagined, and it’s hard to believe. I still can’t believe it. It’s just crazy to me.”

Some people even go there for hours trying to find it, which is confusing to him. He wishes he could talk to everyone, but as an introvert, he often needs long breaks from location after a photo session. He appreciates everyone who watches him, and says his followers are something he will never take for granted.

“It makes me wish I could post more,” he said.

As someone who doesn’t party or go out much, Moten said he puts on a version of himself that’s “more looking” than he really is, and that can be stressful. “I would definitely be more awkward,” he said of himself offline. Sometimes he leaves Omegle by mistake and someone shows up while he’s editing, which surprises him.

“I definitely just closed because I’m going back to myself,” he said. He is also not particularly interested in any talk about his videos. One posts a comment, reads some of the comments and responds, then goes off the grid until it’s ready to share the next.

Moten doesn’t see himself doing Omegle forever. He hopes to create a new channel in the near future that shows more of himself and his emotions. He looks forward to commenting on YouTubers like Drew Gooden and vloggers like Casey Neistat, and he also draws inspiration from “Saturday Night Live.”

“That’s definitely my goal,” Moten said. “To have a channel where people watch me.”

Smith

Tricare west is a global news publication that tells the stories you want to know.

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