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YouTube is cracking down on videos which show people engaging in dangerous challenges and pranks. YouTube already had rules in place regarding people filming themselves engaging in dangerous activities, but this explicitly deals with challenges and pranks.
There are some dumb people doing dumb stuff on YouTube. In 2018, some people filmed themselves eating Tide Pods. And 2019 began with people taking part in the Bird Box Challenge. And YouTube has finally decided it needs to lay down the law to YouTubers.
YouTube Strengthens Community Guidelines
In a YouTube Help thread, YouTube details how it’s “strengthening enforcement of our Community Guidelines”. And alongside reinforced rules regarding custom thumbnails and external links, it’s cracking down on “dangerous challenges and pranks”.
“Content that encourages violence or dangerous activities that may result in serious physical harm, distress or death violates our harmful and dangerous policy, so we’re clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks.”
“We’ve updated our external guidelines to make it clear that we prohibit challenges presenting a risk of serious danger or death, and pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger, or cause children to experience severe emotional distress.”
There’s a long history of prank videos on YouTube, and while many of us think they’re lame, the creators behind them have built big audiences. Involving children is clearly a red line for YouTube, which is why it deleted some Bird Box Challenge videos.
Heads up! Your feedback helped us identify 3 areas of our Community Guidelines where we can clarify policies & strengthen enforcement:
3?Pranks & challenges
Read how enforcement will ramp up over the next few months ? https://t.co/CkaAiHsp4z
— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) January 15, 2019
In a statement to Engadget, YouTube clarified that this tougher stance “wasn’t in response to a specific challenge, and has been in the works for months”. However, for pranks to continue making an impact, creators have been pushing the boundaries of late.
YouTube Pranksters Begone!
Pranks and challenges can be lots of fun. But there is definitely a line beyond which no one should cross. Eating Tide Pods or leading blindfolded children across a highway both cross this line. As does making people believe they’re in real physical danger.
YouTube has made lots of changes over the years, many of which have not been well received by YouTubers and their audiences. However, cracking down on the worst kinds of pranks and challenges is surely a no-brainer very few people could argue against.
Image Credit: Coastal Elite/Flickr