Unscrupulous affiliate marketers seem to be hopping on the MrBeast bandwagon to promote slot games, creating fake Facebook videos showing the popular YouTuber advertising large payouts and trips to Disneyland for players of Sweet Bonanza, a game developed by the Malta-based Pragmatic Play.
MrBeast is the most popular individual content creator on YouTube, and the second most popular overall. His videos, typically featuring large giveaways, have attracted 237 million subscribers and generated an estimated wealth of €500 million. His real name is James Stephen “Jimmy” Donaldson.
In one video, MrBeast can be seen talking to Bradley Martyn, a fitness and bodybuilding influencer and a co-host of the Full Send Podcast. The clip is lifted from a real interview back in September 2022, but the audio is AI-generated, and includes a promotion of Sweet Bonanza.
Curiously, neither video seems to include an affiliate link, though one does specify that the game is being launched in Canada. Pragmatic Play entered the Ontario market in 2022.
The two videos were uploaded by evidently shady Facebook Pages.
One, Lucky World, was created in 2021 but all the content only dates back to December 2023, when it put pictures of MrBeast as its profile and cover photos and started posting what seem to be ChatGPT-generated answers to the question of why people gamble.
The other, Cravina Eventos, used to be a Brazilian events page, and even features couples’ wedding photos. It seems to have fallen victim to a hack, and, also since December 2023, now exclusively promotes Sweet Bonanza.
The videos were brought to public attention when former Buzzfeed, Vice and Gawker journalist Ryan Broderick shared the curious case with his award-winning newsletter’s 70,000 subscribers.
He pointed out that although Meta’s Chief for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, announced recently that “AI-generated images would start being labeled on the company’s platforms […] these Reels don’t use AI-generated imagery. Instead, they use a (bad) audio clone of MrBeast and dub over parts of his videos and interviews to make it sound like he’s hawking Sweet Bonanza.”
MrBeast / Facebook
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