Afghan asylum seeker ‘traumatised’ after TikTok star Rustam Raziev pays for groceries in viral video

Afghan asylum seeker 'traumatised' after TikTok star Rustam Raziev pays for groceries in viral video 2
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An Australian TikTok star is facing a backlash after an Afghan asylum seeker whose groceries he paid for admitted feeling humiliated by the viral stunt.

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The man, Esa, revealed he had received calls from family around the world asking if he was in trouble after Rustam Raziev paid for his groceries and uploaded the clip without his consent in June.

The ambush-style clip, in which the man appeared confused and smiled awkwardly, was viewed over six million times.

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Esa now says he felt ’embarrassed’ and felt the video made him look ‘desperate’ or like ‘a beggar’. 

An Australian TikTok star is facing a backlash after an Afghan asylum seeker whose groceries he paid for in a viral stunt admitted feeling humiliated by the ambush

An Australian TikTok star is facing a backlash after an Afghan asylum seeker whose groceries he paid for in a viral stunt admitted feeling humiliated by the ambush

Raziev is the latest TikTok star to issue an apology after their apparent good deeds backfired because the recipient felt embarrassed

Raziev is the latest TikTok star to issue an apology after their apparent good deeds backfired because the recipient felt embarrassed

Mr Raziev’s clip with the unsuspecting Esa was posted to TikTok with the description: ‘My mission? Being myself. Helping others. Become a better version of myself.’

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But Esa, who told the ABC he is an Afghan asylum seeker, said the video ‘creeped him out’ and that he usually avoided posting his own social media content to protect his privacy.

‘I have friends and family around the world, they’ve been calling me saying: ‘Oh, you need help’ and ‘What happened to you? Someone’s paying for your food’. I was a bit traumatised.’

Mr Raziev issued an apology over the viral clip, claiming he had ‘good intentions’, wants to help people ‘like a friend’ and was not trying to ‘benefit’.

Commenters on the TikTok featuring Esa appeared to pick up on his discomfort.

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Mr Raziev has gained 7.2million followers for posting similar clips, in which he swoops in to pay for the shopping of unsuspecting Australians, many of whom appear to be doing it tough

Mr Raziev has gained 7.2million followers for posting similar clips, in which he swoops in to pay for the shopping of unsuspecting Australians, many of whom appear to be doing it tough

In another clip he stops a young woman to ask her to 'buy me some food because I haven't had anything from the morning'. When she agrees, he turns the tables and pays for her, giving her a hug

In another clip he stops a young woman to ask her to ‘buy me some food because I haven’t had anything from the morning’. When she agrees, he turns the tables and pays for her, giving her a hug

‘He looks like he’s going through something I feel bad,’ one person wrote.

‘Dude he didn’t want to be filmed!’ another woman commented. 

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Raziev is the latest TikTok star to issue an apology after their apparent good deeds backfired because the recipient felt embarrassed.

A week ago Harrison Pawluk was last week forced to offer an apology after a woman, ‘Maree’, complained a viral video in which he gave her flowers – now viewed 64million times – had ‘dehumanised’ her. 

According to a survey by Vista, TikTok influencers are earning between $53,000 and $71,000 a year from their content in 2022. 

Mr Raziev has begun to receive harsh criticism for his stunts, not least out of respect for people's privacy

Mr Raziev has begun to receive harsh criticism for his stunts, not least out of respect for people’s privacy

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Mr Raziev has gained 7.2million followers for posting similar clips, in which he swoops in to pay for the shopping of unsuspecting Australians, many of whom appear to be doing it tough.

The clips are posted with inspiring quotes such as ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’ and ‘A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.’

In another clip he stops a young woman to ask her to ‘buy me some food because I haven’t had anything from the morning’. 

When she agrees, he turns the tables and pays for her, giving her a hug.

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Mr Raziev has begun to receive harsh criticism for his stunts, not least out of respect for people’s privacy.

Mr Raziev's videos of himself paying for strangers are posted with inspiring quotes such as 'Be the change that you wish to see in the world'

Mr Raziev’s videos of himself paying for strangers are posted with inspiring quotes such as ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’

He posts similar videos to his TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook accounts, and describes his videos as ‘Social Experiments. Wholesome content. Giving back to people in need and make people’s day where I can.’

On his Facebook account, an Australian mum posted a comment urging him to seek consent, adding that ‘good deeds are more genuine’ when anonymous.

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‘Did it ever occur to you that you might be exposing someone to danger by publicly posting videos of what you’re doing?

‘For example, someone trying to be safe from domestic violence has moved suburbs or even towns to hide from their perpetrator and bang here you are putting them in the public eye.’

Daily Mail Australia approached Rustam Raziev for comment. 

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