YouTube bans dangerous pranks and risky challenges

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On this tuesday YouTube clarified rules against posting videos of dangerous pranks, as risky “challenges” prompt people to video themselves doing things like biting into laundry soap or driving blindfolded.

The company already told not to content inciting dangerous activities likely to result in serious harm.

But the clarifications “make it clear that challenges like the Tide pod challenge or the Fire challenge, that can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances, have no place on YouTube,” said the company in a blog post.

“YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, like Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Terrible Christmas Presents’ prank or the water bottle flip challenge,” said YouTube, owned by Google’sparent Alphabet.

“We’ve made it clear that our policies prohibiting harmful and dangerous content also extend to pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury,” said YouTube.

It made clear the updated policies ban pranks that trick people into thinking they are in danger, such as fake home invasions or drive-by shootings.

“That said, we’ve always had policies to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous.”

While playful or goofy challenges or pranks have become raging trends online, with video shared at YouTube or Facebook, some “memes” have put people in jeopardy.

A Bird Box thriller was released on Netflix a month ago which inspired a challenge for people to do things blindfolded, mimicking characters in the original streaming film.

YouTube policy also bans pranks that can cause children trauma, for example the fake death of a parent or severe abandonment, according to the firm.

Accounts that post videos violating policies on pranks will get a “strike” that will limit some features imcluding streaming too.

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