2 min read

YouTube updates its policies to ban dangerous pranks and challenges that can be harmful to the victim of a prank or encourages people to partake in dangerous behavior.

Pranks and challenges have been around on YouTube for a long time. Many of the pranks are entertaining and harmless, some challenges potentially unsafe like an extreme food eating challenge. Recently, the “Bird Box Challenge” has been popular inspired after the Netflix movie Bird Box. The challenge is to perform difficult tasks, like driving a car, blindfolded. This challenge has received media coverage not for the entertainment value but for the dangers involved. It has caused many accidents where people take this challenge.

What is banned on YouTube?

In the light of this challenge being harmful and dangerous to lives, YouTube bans certain content by updating its policies page. Primarily, it has banned three kinds of pranks:

  • Challenges that can cause serious danger to life or cause death
  • Pranks that lead the victims to believe that they’re in serious physical danger
  • Any pranks that cause severe emotional distress in children

They state in their policies page: “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.


What are the terms?

Other than the points listed above there is no clear or exhaustive list of the kind of activities that are banned. The YouTube moderators may take a call to remove a video. In the next two months, YouTube will be removing any existing content that falls into this radar, however, content creators will not receive a strike. Going forward, any new content that may have objectionable content as per their policies will get the channel a ‘strike’. Three strikes in the span of three months will lead to the channel’s termination. Questionable content includes custom thumbnails or external links that display pornographic, graphic violent, malware, or spam content.

So now you are less likely to see videos on driving blindfolded or eating tide pods.

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