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Relax, That TikTok About A Restaurant Phone-Charging Fee Is Staged

Person taking picture of receipt
Person taking picture of receipt - Patpitchaya/Getty Images

In the digital age, everyone has to be a bit more discerning than in years past. If you're not, you may fall victim to savvy influencers who have perfected the art of rage farming. Just ask Winta Zesu, the model and influencer who has racked up hundreds of thousands of TikTok followers by shocking viewers with her outlandish restaurant behavior.

Rage farming is a manipulation tactic originally used by politicians to slander their opponents on social media, thus inciting anger and increasing the post's engagement. The practice has been adopted by many influencers, like Zesu, who hope to reach viral stardom — even if that means getting cast as the villain in the public eye.

In a TikTok video that has amassed more than half a million views, Zesu records herself as she seemingly argues with her server about an unknown $11 charge on her bill. "What's the electric fee?" Zesu asks, to which the server replies, "That is for using your charger." A surprised Zesu then asks why the restaurant would charge a fee for plugging her phone into one of the restaurant's outlets. "Everything in America is not free," the person behind the camera answers.

Read more: Waiters Reveal What Restaurants Get The Best Tips

Misplaced Outrage Is The Name Of The Game

Phone holding money and restaurant bill
Phone holding money and restaurant bill - Sasithorn Phuapankasemsuk/Getty Images

Zesu asks the server where they're from, but they press on, insisting that influencers are required to pay the fee, as charging their phones throughout the meal creates an added expense for the restaurant. "I think that's how France works," Zesu says, "but here in America, that's not how we do it. Influencers get everything for free around here."

If Zesu's behavior in the video made your blood boil, she succeeded in her mission. The model and influencer realized the power of the internet's anger earlier this year, after a staged video of her being asked to leave a restaurant for being too particular accumulated millions of views. "It was literally just me and my friend making a funny video about complaining, you know, like this stereotypical influencer thing, like a mean girl," she told Business Insider. "I was looking up as if there was a waiter standing there, but there's actually no one standing there."

With her latest installment seeming to follow the same model, some TikTok users were in on the joke, with one commenter ironically writing, "Totally real." However, most of the comments were divided between those who were outraged that a restaurant would dare charge an electric fee, and those who were outraged about Zesu generally being an awful customer. Meanwhile, Zesu is just pleased her follower count is growing. "I'm just posting whatever people react to, I guess," she told Business Insider.

Read the original article on Mashed.