Youtube Set To Impose Ban On Dangerous Bird Box-Inspired Prank Videos

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Youtube has said that it will impose a ban on videos that contain emotionally distressing or dangerous “pranks,” after a person crashed his car trying to complete an online challenge that is inspired by Netflix’s Bird Box.

In an update that was posted to its support site, Youtube said that it had updated its external guidelines “to 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.”

The policy extends to footage of pranks “with a perceived danger of serious physical injury,” such as drive-by shooting and a fake home invasion.

The move comes a day after a teenager crashed his car while driving blindfolded in the United States. He was reportedly acting out a so-called challenge that was made popular by Bird Box, a Netflix original film.

The meme involves carrying out various activities such as crossing the road while blindfolded. It has become popular in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Netflix was forced to issue a warning to subscribers with the statement saying: “Please do not hurt yourselves with this Bird Box challenge.”

The Google-owned streaming service added: “Youtube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks.”

It continued: “That said, we’ve always had policies to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous. Our community guidelines prohibit content that encourages dangerous activities that are likely to result in serious harm, and today clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks.”

Various other dangerous challenges have included eating laundry detergent tablets that were made by Tide, a US firm, which resulted in an increase in reported cases of poisoning.

Procter and Gamble, the parent company of Tide, created a public awareness campaign last year, that was fronted by Rob Gronkwoski, a US sportsman, to warn of the dangers of the challenge on social media.