But Essex police weren't laughing when they turned up at 7.30am on Monday to deliver White a "community resolution" order, a warning short of a police caution:
White, who has 30,000 Vine followers and last week offered to personally ring people who liked his Facebook page, told BuzzFeed News:
I was in work late today because I had a half day, so I was half asleep in bed and my mum goes 'the police are here, they want to see you'. I thought, oh no what have I done now. Was it something over the weekend that I don't remember?
They said 'we're here to talk to you about an incident on 27 October' and as soon as they said that I went 'oh right, the silly string.' They were all serious about it. They pulled out the paperwork and they said 'you know you can't go around doing that.'
I said 'when I was a kid I used to go around spraying people with silly string – I didn't know it was against the law. What am I being pulled up for?'
They said that I was 'prodding' people with silly string. I didn't think prodding people with silly string even existed [as an offence].
The Association of Chief Police Officers describes community resolutions as:
...The nationally recognised term for the reoslution of a less serious offence or anti-social behaviour incident, where an offender has been identified, through informal agreement between the parties involved as opposed to progression through the traditional criminal justice process.
White was made to sign a disclaimer to say he wouldn't attempt a similar prank again. But despite that, he's determined to carry on.
White says that he always asks his victims for permission before he uploads the Vines and he claims the police told him they found some of them funny. But they were clear that they thought he'd overstepped a line on this occasion.
Essex police confirmed to us that a community resolution was handed out to a 19-year-old man "in relation to an assault".
But if other UK Viners are planning any public pranks involving spraying people with anything, they should do so very carefully.
Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Patrick Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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