YouTube Bans Dangerous Stunts On Platform Following Risky ‘#BirdBoxChallenge’
By Izza Sofia, 17 Jan 2019
YouTube is tightening its content guidelines after an increase in the number of dangerous challenges surfacing on social media.
The video sharing platform has released updated guidelines to address these pranks, particularly after the recent ‘#BirdBoxChallenge’—where participants tried executing various tasks while blindfolded—resulted in injuries.
One such accident that occurred in Utah involved a teenager who had covered her eyes with a hat while driving, and ended up crashing her car.
The social challenge spurred Netflix to issue an official warning urging people to cease taking part in ‘#BirdBoxChallenge’, lest they hurt themselves.
YouTube’s community manager explained in a public statement that although YouTube houses “many beloved viral challengers and pranks,” the company still holds a responsibility to dismiss content deemed harmful.
The statement also clarified that dangerous stunts such as the ‘Tide pod’ challenge, which saw people eating pods of laundry detergent, have “no place on YouTube.”
“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,” the statement reads.
“We also don’t allow pranks that cause children to experience severe emotional distress, meaning something so bad that it could leave the child traumatized for life,” it further explained.
YouTube has given its platform a two-month window before it starts striking users for breaching its policy. A YouTube spokesperson told CNBC that the platform has long banned videos that promote harmful content. YouTube has updated its policies against videos that cause emotional distress or dangerous content to help ensure that its users are clear on specific community guidelines.
Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.— Netflix US (@netflix) January 2, 2019
[via CNBC, opening image via IMDb]
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