India's MrBeast 'kindness for clicks' stunt philanthropy videos raise questions

Harsha Sai is a 24-year-old YouTuber from India who has become famous for his philanthropy stunts, which involve giving large sums of money and expensive gifts to those in need. He has been dubbed "India's MrBeast" and has millions of followers.

Sai's stunts, firmly in the "kindness for clicks" content genre, have come under scrutiny and he has been accused of reducing philanthropy to a spectacle with "poor used as props for views."

Sai claims that he funds his stunts with YouTube ad revenue, Instagram brand sponsorships, and personal investments in stocks. However, India's YouTubers make a fraction of what they do in the United States. (Web Curios)

In 2022, Telugu journalist Jaffar Babu interviewed Sai:

But as Sai's star rose, suspicions of these displays of generosity intensified. In summer 2022, Jaffar Babu, a Telugu journalist, began investigating Sai's income, the authenticity of his beneficiaries, and rumors of him harboring political ambitions, on his YouTube news channel Itlu Mee Jaffar. "YouTube is capable of influencing, therefore it is worth investigating," Babu told Rest of World.

After multiple discussions, Sai offered his first on-camera interview to Babu, where he explained that his income is a mix of YouTube sponsorships and personal investments in stocks. He said he had no political ambitions, that his channel existed to "inspire" people, and that all accusations against him were baseless. Babu questioned Sai on why his team wears face masks in all videos, which Sai said was done to ensure they aren't doxxed or hounded by fans. The interview, which garnered over 7 million views on YouTube, only aided Sai's popularity.

Read the entire article on Rest of World.