YouTube has updated its guidelines to ban any dangerous prank or ‘challenge’ videos, which either cause children “severe emotional distress” or makes the target of a prank think they’re in “serious physical danger.”
Any videos that are found to contain that kind of content will be removed, with channel owners possibly facing a ‘strike’ , with three strikes resulting in “account termination”.
The ban comes after a number of people have been filmed undertaking the ‘Bird Box Challenge’, which is, apparently, the latest internet craze currently making the rounds on social media.
Inspired by Netflix’s Original science-fiction film starring Sandra Bullock, the Bird Box Challenge reportedly incites people to photograph and record themselves wandering around while wearing blindfolds.
This has already led one 17-year old to crash her car into oncoming traffic while driving wearing a blindfold.
YouTube says the new ban comes with a two-month grace period, so channels that post offending content won’t receive a strike, but videos that don’t meet the guidelines will still be removed, regardless of when they were uploaded.
As well as banning dangerous prank/challenge videos, YouTube is also clamping down on video thumbnails and external links that “egregiously violate policies” – for example by “containing pornography or graphic violence”.
It looks like YouTube is working hard right now to make its platform a safer place with these new guidelines – only time will tell if silly challenges fall out of fashion as a result.