YouTube is banning dangerous prank videos and people are divided about it. The dangers of viral challenges are undeniable. From the blindfold wrapped Bird Box challenge , to the digestive system destroying Tide Pod Challenge, to the life destroying and abusive Hot Water Challenge, to the challenge that I don’t think needs a warning descriptor, The Fire Challenge. Reasonable people have long been calling for YouTube to do something about these potentially deadly trends, and it looks like they finally have.
After deleting a lot of these videos, including Jake Paul’s Birdbox challenge showing him driving a car with a blindfold (yeesh),YouTube officially updated its policies to ban challenges that can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances.
YouTube told CNN: “YouTube has long prohibited videos which promote harmful or dangerous activities and we routinely review and update our enforcement guidelines to make sure they’re consistent and appropriately address emerging trends.”
But they have also taken these guidelines a step further, banning “harmful and dangerous content” and “pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury.” and pranks that specifically “make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger — for example, a home invasion prank or a drive-by shooting prank.”
YouTube has certainly been cracking down on content in attempts to save high-paying advertisers as clients and to create a safer, friendly platform. They have also recently clarified how profanity affects monetization. Joey Salads who makes prank videos and has over 2m subscribers tweeted: I am about to get [banned] off youtube. We had a good run.
Though not all viewers agree with the new policies and while there are plenty complains about sensationalized YouTubers, the platform has already banned a few, such as right wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
What do you think about YouTube’s evolving policies? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.