YouTube bans Birdbox and other dangerous challenges on its platform

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January 16, 2019
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YouTube has clearly had enough. The video sharing platform has warned content creators to stop posting potentially fatal pranks and challenges, like the Bird Box and Tide Pod ones, or else face serious consequences.

The company has unveiled new guidelines that creators must follow if they want to ensure that their channel sticks around, and one of them is a strict exhortation on dangerous stunts. While YouTube has previously addressed this issue in broad terms in the dangerous content category of its policies, it has added a new section following a series of disturbing videos.

Such videos include YouTuber Jake Paul driving around blindfolded as part of the Bird Box challenge and teenagers consuming poisonous Tide pods in order to participate in the Tide Pod challenge. If this sounds disturbing enough to you, then it certainly did to YouTube, which added a new policy section that states:

“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 — for example, a home invasion prank or a drive-by shooting prank.”

Unfortunately, these kinds of pranks and challenges are popular among content creators because this inevitably attracts more viewers. Even if the participants end up unscathed, the video itself leaves a significant impression on the viewers’ minds and they attempt to perform these challenges themselves, with ultimately fatal results.

YouTube has given creators two months to remove all such content from their channels. Any video that violates the latest guidelines will not only be removed, but its creators could receive a community guideline strike against their channel. If a channel receives three strikes within 90 days, it will be terminated.

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