TikTok creator Asif Khan — with 850K followers and climbing — has been recording his prank job interviews and sharing the videos with fans since September 2020. When enough recruiters complained, job site Indeed decided it had seen enough and is now suing Khan for violating their terms of service.
Insane characters show up for interviews
Visit Khan’s account (tooapree) and you’ll see dozens of Zoom meetings with unsuspecting interviewers trying to make sense of why he’s wearing a clown costume or pretending he doesn’t understand the questions or introducing his roommate Luigi, a ventriloquist puppet, mid-conversation. He shows a fondness for absurdity and silliness. With videos averaging around a minute long, the pranks start and end quickly, testing the patience and kindness of his unsuspecting co-stars.
Sometimes he “trolls” a class or a lecture by joining and generally being obnoxious, interrupting the speaker, and occasionally running around shirtless.
The pranks have been wildly successful for Khan; many of his videos have received over a million views. With this content, he’s expanded to both Instagram (where he has 38.3k followers) and YouTube (with 21.7k subscribers).
Indeed files a lawsuit
Indeed has stated that this usage of their website (especially for capital gain) is a violation of their terms of service, resulting in personal property fraud. In order to agree to terms of service, a user must enter an email, date of birth, and full name. The complaint also states that Khan has violated the terms of service by inputting false information and creating multiple fake accounts, enabling him to stage more than 90 fake interviews.
Indeed first took note of Khan’s pranks in September 2020 when a user wrote a complaint, stating that Khan appeared for his interview “shirtless and acting inappropriately.” Since then “Indeed’s employers have become increasingly vocal in their complaints about Khan’s behavior in these fake interviews — describing his behavior as unprofessional, rude and disruptive,” according to legal documents.
His pranks have not always focused on interviews. One of his earliest videos on Instagram features him shoplifting, grabbing all the earrings he can from a display case, and running towards the exit. Of course, the video cuts once he starts running, so he might have just returned the earrings to their rightful case once he turned off the video. In another video, he’s in his underwear in a Chipotle restaurant dancing until the employees kick him out.
Other online video pranksters
Khan isn’t the first video-based content creator to be sued by a major company. In 2018, the YouTube prankster Cody Roeder was sued by In-N-Out Burger for telling customers that the food was “contaminated” after claiming to be the restaurant chain’s new CEO.
He has also shared his Zoombombing sprees — hacking into zoom chats — which are now a federal offense. The punishment for Zoombombing can even include jail time.
In the lawsuit, Indeed also seeks damages, attorney fees, and costs. Personal property fraud in Texas, where the case is being held, can receive a harsh punishment, ranging from a fine to jail time. Counsel has not yet appeared for the defendant, so we don’t yet know who will have the last laugh.