Concerned about videos of dangerous pranks putting at danger the lives of people, the posting of such videos that pose challenges to others of duplicating such pranks have been banned on YouTube.
It will not allow any of its users to upload prank or challenge videos “that can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances,” said the US-based website owned by Google, and added that such videos “have no place” on its website.
The company put forward examples of such risky videos such as the Tide Pod challenge where users of the social media platform were challenged to eat laundry detergent packets on camera as well as the Fire challenge where people are challenged to get themselves drenched in flammable liquids and then dared to set fire to themselves.
“YouTube has long prohibited videos which promote harmful or dangerous activities and we routinely review and update our enforcement guidelines to make sure they’re consistent and appropriately address emerging trends,” a spokesman for the social media platform told the media in a statement.
The statement read: the company has now extended its policies banning “harmful and dangerous content” to “pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury.”
The social media platform also added that it does not allow “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger — for example, a home invasion prank or a drive-by shooting prank.”
Those videos that violate the new guidelines, which were recently updated by the social media platform, are being currently removed, the company said.
Before the ban comes fully into effect, the creators of such videos have been awarded with a grace period of two months to “review and clean up content”, the social media company said.
“Pranks that cause children to experience severe emotional distress, meaning something so bad that it could leave the child traumatized for life” are also being banned by the website.
Citing examples like the fake death of a parent or shaming for mistakes, the social media platform said that it had worked with “child psychologists to develop guidelines around the types of pranks that cross this line.”
In recent times, there were concerns over the rising popularity of some pranks such as the Bird Box challenge which has been inspired by a scene in the Netflix movie “Bird Box” wherein the users had been challenged to get themselves blindfolded and then get going with their everyday tasks. The company said that this was one of the triggers of the update from YouTube.
And in a recent incident, a teenage user who had blindfolded himself crashed into another vehicle while attempting to undertake the Bird Box challenge in Utah despite NetFlix issuing a number of warnings to viewers against the challenge this month.
(Adapted from CNN.com)