Are you thinking of trying something stupid, like the Bird Box challenge, to get views on YouTube? You might want to think again.
The Google-owned video-sharing site has updated its policies to specifically ban dangerous pranks and challenges. That includes the infamous Tide Pod and Fire challenges as well as home invasion and drive-by shooting pranks. Also not allowed: pranks on children involving “the fake death of a parent or severe abandonment or shaming for mistakes,” YouTube wrote in its FAQ about the update.
“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,” YouTube wrote. “We’ve updated our external guidelines to make it clear that we prohibit challenges presenting a risk of serious danger or death, and pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger, or cause children to experience severe emotional distress.”
The update comes after one Utah teenager crashed her car while doing the Bird Box challenge, which involves people going about their daily lives while blindfolded. The challenge was inspired by the Bird Box movie on Netflix, where a character has to drive a car with blacked-out windows using only the GPS screen as a guide.
YouTube didn’t specifically mention the Bird Box challenge in its FAQ, but said the examples it did provide, mentioned above, are “not exhaustive.”
YouTube is giving creators a two-month “grace period” to review the updates announced this week and make changes to their content. During this period, YouTube will remove content that violates its new policies, but won’t give the channel a strike.
Meanwhile, Netflix has also warned users against doing the Bird Box challenge.
“Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” the video streaming service posted on Twitter earlier this month. “We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”
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