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YouTube Addresses Your Asinine, Dangerous Challenges

Site bans 'pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2019 8:17 AM CST
This March 20, 2018, file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad in Baltimore.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – A minor accident caused when a teen allegedly tried to drive with her eyes covered, in imitation of scenes from Netflix's Bird Box, was apparently just the start. Per the Verge, YouTube's Tide Pod challenge has given way to the Bird Box challenge, in which users film themselves driving blindfolded—as one of YouTube's biggest stars did recently. YouTube has now updated it community guidelines, including an entire new category on dangerous challenges and pranks. "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," along with "pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury," the company says in an FAQ section.

A home invasion or drive-by shooting prank could therefore result in a strike against a channel. The same is said of "pranks that cause children to experience severe emotional distress," per the BBC. The video is removed and the creator loses certain privileges for 90 days, while a channel is removed entirely after three strikes over 90 days. At least that's the policy: Plenty of Bird Box challenge videos remain on the site. BuzzFeed reports that dozens of videos of bestiality also remain almost a year after the company said they had "no place on YouTube." YouTube addresses such imagery in its updated guidelines, claiming videos with thumbnails showing "egregious content, such as pornography or graphic violence," will earn a strike. (A fatal shooting occurred during a YouTube stunt.)

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