YouTube is updating its policy on banning harmful and dangerous content to include prank or challenge videos that could lead to death or serious physical injury. On Tuesday, the platform issued an update explaining that this more explicit prohibition applies to challenges like the Tide Pod challenge and the fire challenge.
This notably comes after the viral success of the ‘BirdBoxChallenge’, an unofficial meme that rose in the wake of the massive success of the Sandra Bullock-led Netflix original film “Bird Box” released in late December. That challenge saw people performing tasks while wearing a blindfold – leading to a car crash in Utah last week.
The video service update says: “Challenges that present an apparent risk of death are not allowed on YouTube,” including those that “lead victims to believe they are in physical danger or that can cause real physical harm” such as home-invasion pranks, simulated drive-by shootings, etc.
YouTube also specifically says the banned content includes those featuring a child participating in dangerous challenges “that pose an imminent risk of injury or bodily harm” as well as pranks that “may cause emotional distress to children”.
YouTube said violations of the ban on dangerous pranks and challenges will result in a ‘community strike’ against a channel; accounts that receive three strikes in 90 days will be terminated under the policy.