YouTube Bans Dangerous Pranks After ‘Bird Box’ Challenge Videos Go Viral

By Nitish Singh / January 16, 2019

There are YouTube content creators who go to great lengths for the sake of pranks, and people behind the video sharing platform are not too happy about it. There have been a number of potentially dangerous challenges like the 'Tide Pod' Challenge, the 'ultimate selfie' challenge and more recently, the 'Bird Box' challenge.

The ‘Bird Box’ challenge became popular after the release of the recent Sandra Bullock movie on Netflix. YouTube users started walking around blindfolded just like in the movie, and it has led to a number of accidents.

YouTube made a number of changes to put an end to such dangerous pranks once and for all, and it updated its guidelines stating: “YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, but we need to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous. We’ve made it clear that our policies prohibiting harmful and dangerous content also extend to pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury. We don’t allow pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger.

A lot of these seemingly dangerous pranks are actually performed by stunt actors to make sure that no one gets hurt for real in the process, but many YouTube content creators from smaller channels do not realize that, and neither do a large number of fans. They try to replicate the challenges and pranks and end up hurting themselves or others. Social media influencers are responsible for spreading these dangerous pranks as well with a number of celebrities posting videos of themselves doing the challenge quite often.

Aside from prank videos, YouTube also updated its guidelines to change guidelines pertaining to pornography and graphic violence. A number of YouTubers often use misleading thumbnails that are violent or sexual for more views even if their content is safe for viewing. The new guidelines prohibit the use of such thumbnails. Users who have infringed on the new guidelines have been warned and repeating the offenses will lead to permanent bans.

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