A mainstay of the YouTube video environment — the prank video — just suffered a setback, apparently as part of the fallout from a spate of mishaps reportedly stemming from people trying to copy the Netflix movie “Bird Box.”
The New York Times reports that the video-sharing site is clamping down on content that, in YouTube’s view, depicts “dangerous challenges and pranks.”
“On Tuesday, YouTube, a unit of Google, updated its policies ‘to make it clear’ that challenges ‘that can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances,’ pranks ‘with a perceived danger of serious physical injury’ and anything that causes ‘children severe emotional distress’ are not allowed on the site,” The Times reports.
The report adds: “In a statement, YouTube said the update — which cited pranks involving home invasions or drive-by shootings as unacceptable — was a result of a routine review of its longstanding enforcement guidelines and an effort to better define what it allows users to post. Users whose videos are taken down over the next two months for violating the standards can appeal the removals.”
The statement is quoted saying: “We heard feedback from creators that we could provide some clarity on certain community guidelines, so we published materials detailing our policies against pranks that cause others to seriously fear for their safety or that cause serious emotional distress to children and vulnerable individuals.”
The Times adds: “The revised guidelines specifically cite so-called Tide pod challenge videos as the kind that is banned, but they do not mention a more recent YouTube phenomenon that presumably falls in the same category: videos of people taking the so-called ‘Bird Box’ challenge.”
Netflix addressed the dangers of the “Bird Box” challenge in its own message posted on Twitter earlier this month, which you can see below …