TECH
17/01/2019 7:25 AM AEDT | Updated 17/01/2019 7:31 AM AEDT

YouTube Bans Dangerous Pranks And Stunts In Wake Of 'Bird Box' Challenge

A wave of YouTubers have been posting birdbrained videos of themselves in hopes of going viral.

YouTube is cracking down on risky prank and challenge videos amid a wave of users committing outrageous stunts, like driving a car while blindfolded, for viral fame.

The video-sharing site announced Tuesday that it will prohibit any content “that encourages dangerous activities that are likely to result in serious harm.”

“While it might not seem fair to say you can’t show something because of what viewers might do in response, we draw the line at Content that intends to incite violence or encourage dangerous or illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death,” YouTube’s website states. 

TARIK KIZILKAYA via Getty Images
YouTube said it is cracking down on video content “that encourages dangerous activities that are likely to result in serious harm.”

Google, which owns YouTube, specifically cited the Tide Pod challenge and the Fire challenge as examples of stunts that can result in injury or death.

A recent craze popping up on YouTube is the “Bird Box” challenge, in which participants blindfold themselves before undertaking everyday activities like walking, exercising, crossing a busy street or driving a car.

In a particularly egregious example of a YouTube challenge gone wrong, a 19-year-old woman filmed herself fatally shooting her boyfriend in 2017 for a stunt they hoped would go viral.

YouTube
Users can report dangerous content directly beneath the videos.

YouTube’s rules also target videos that inflict emotional injury onto someone.

“We don’t allow pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger — for example, a home invasion prank or a drive-by shooting prank,” the company said. “We also don’t allow pranks that cause children to experience severe emotional distress, meaning something so bad that it could leave the child traumatized for life.”

Users found to be violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines will receive strikes, which they will be able to appeal.