Popular video streaming platform YouTube will no longer tolerate the publishing of videos that include individuals engaging in highly dangerous pranks or challenges, the company said on Tuesday.
In a statement on the issue of users publishing such videos, YouTube attempted to explain that it was doing so in order to prevent individuals from trying to recreate or mimic viral prank ideas — pranks that could cause bodily harm or even death.
“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,” the company said in its statement, according to reporting from Gizmodo.
A spokesman for the Google-owned company went on to explain that it was updating its terms of service, with a further iteration of the rules barring pranks or challenges with dangerous elements from remaining on the site.
“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.”
YouTube added that such videos “have no place” on their site, per reporting from CNN.
The company’s move comes after a new viral prank-fad has become popular, one based on a Netflix original movie called “Bird Box.”
YouTube has banned prank and dangerous challenge videos after people started wearing blindfolds while driving https://t.co/bNEu9OQ9WT— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 16, 2019
In that movie, Sandra Bullock and other actors portraying characters in the film wear blindfolds to avoid a mysterious force that compels people to take their own lives if they see it, according to reporting from Digital Spy.
The movie’s popularity, coupled with imagery of almost everyone in the film wearing a blindfold at some point, prompted many to attempt the so-called “Bird Box Challenge,” in which participants would blindfold themselves in an attempt to try and navigate some of life’s simple tasks. Such videos drew widespread attention, and were repeated by other users who wanted to see if they could also complete simple tasks.
Unfortunately, many have taken the challenge too far, filming themselves doing things that require use of eyesight. A Utah teenager, for example, attempted the challenge while driving her car, which resulted in her getting into a serious accident with another vehicle.
Such challenges occurred despite Netflix urging audience members who saw the movie not to recreate the blindfold scenario.
Other pranks have come to prominence as of late, including pranks that have caused serious harm. The “Tide Pod Challenge,” for example, saw dozens of teens attempt to eat laundry detergent packages — despite the fact that doing so could have deadly consequences, according to reporting from KUTV.