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What do people in Italy do when they see €100 lying in front of a homeless person?

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What do people in Italy do when they see €100 lying in front of a homeless person?
A Milan filmmaker secretly filmed passersby as he pretended to be homeless. Screengrab: Kiko.Co/Facebook
12:39 CEST+02:00
What would you do if you passed by a homeless person and saw €100 lying in front of them? Italian video blogger Kiko.Co put people in Milan to the test.

In a "social experiment" posted online this week, the YouTuber pretended to be homeless in one of Italy's wealthiest cities, setting up on a street corner with a cup to collect small change. 

He put two fake €50 notes inside and lay down under a blanket, pretending to be asleep, while a concealed camera secretly filmed the reactions of passersby. 

In many cases, the results were as depressing as you'd expect. Several men helped themselves to the cash, even when the filmmaker called after them. 

One particularly shameless thief checked on Kiko.Co to see if he was sleeping, then having roused him he pretended to reassure him, telling him to go back to sleep even as he handed off the stolen money to an accomplice.

Another well-dressed young man seemed to contemplate taking the notes and has to be talked out of it by his female companion, who insists: "He needs it more than us". 

There are a few other moments of integrity, too, notably in the final scenes of the video, when an elderly man wakes Kiko.Co to tell him to look after the money. 

When the blogger informs him that it's fake, the man responds: "Well then, let me give you what I have" – prompting the slightly embarrassed filmmaker to reveal the situation and try to return the coins. 

The video, which has already been viewed nearly 300,000 times on Facebook, provoked outraged comments from people disgusted by the behaviour – while some cynics suggested that the final act of generosity must have been faked. 

Others, meanwhile, suggested it would be a different story in other parts of Italy. 

Perhaps we'll find out: Kiko.Co says he has only carried out the experiment in Milan "for now", suggesting that he might attempt it elsewhere.

The blogger, who specializes in candid-camera ethics tests, has staged a similar stunt before, also in Milan, that saw his accomplices offer €5 notes to strangers on the condition that they give it to the first person in need they saw. Kiko.Co was waiting nearby, again pretending to be homeless, to test whether they'd keep their promise.

Of the 11 people shown in the clip, six donated the cash and five pocketed it; as he summed up, "Good but not great".  

READ ALSO: How this homeless Brit is helping Rome's destitute


Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

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