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Youtube To Start Banning Uploaders Promoting Dangerous Pranks

YouTube has moved to ban videos that depict dangerous activity that could cause injury or death — like the “Bird Box” and “Tide Pod” challenges, which were both very popular on the site last year.

The video sharing platform said Tuesday it’s making the move to pre-empt potential harm caused by video makers looking to produce the next big YouTube hit.

“We’re clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks,” YouTube said in a statement. “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 updated our external guidelines to make it clear that we prohibit challenges presenting a risk of serious danger.”

YouTube said the ban also applies to content that makes victims believe they’re in serious physical danger, or cause children to experience severe emotional distress.

YouTube said there will be a grace period for channels to make changes to their content.

The “Bird Box challenge” was based on a Netflix horror film in which people wear blindfolds during daily activities. A 17-year-old Utah girl caused a car accident while driving blind folded.

The trend prompted Netflix to post a disclaimer discouraging simulations.

Another popular trend on YouTube last year involved people putting the laundry detergent “pods” in their mouths. Pod manufacturer Tide enlisted the help of New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski to get the warning across.

YouTube also updated its guidelines on external links and custom thumbnail images to reinforce a ban on pornography and graphic violence. Each violation will be a strike against that user. Accounts are terminated if they get three strikes in a 90-day period.

 

 

By Nicholas Sakelaris

 

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