ShareThis Page
YouTube to ban ‘harmful or dangerous’ prank, challenge videos |

YouTube to ban ‘harmful or dangerous’ prank, challenge videos

Rachel Desantis, New York Daily News
| Wednesday, January 16, 2019 1:01 p.m

YouTube is bringing down the hammer on “harmful or dangerous content” in the wake of viral challenges that place content creators in potentially serious danger.

The company recently announced the content crack-down, and singled out videos that present an apparent risk of death, videos that cause children to experience emotional distress and videos that make “prank” victims believe they’re in real danger, like a home invasion or drive-by shooting prank, as those that would be getting the boot.

YouTube said that users will have a two month grace period to review their videos and remove anything that violates the new policy. After that, videos deemed dangerous will receive a strike, and three strikes will lead to the removal of a channel.

A spokesperson told NBC News that it was not one specific viral trend that led to the implementation of the new policy, but that it’s been in development for several months.

Still, it comes at the same time as the “Bird Box” challenge, which has been criticized for its stupidity: users are encouraged to complete tasks while blindfolded, as inspired by the Netflix film of the same name.

Users have done things like climb down stairs, apply makeup, and in some cases, like a 17-year-old girl in Utah, drive a car. The teen crashed her car while attempting the challenge, though no one was injured.

It’s not the first dangerous challenge to take off. Over the years, people have filmed themselves doing all sorts of ridiculous stunts, like the Fire Challenge, which saw people pour flammable liquids onto their bodies and light themselves aflame, the Tide Pod challenge, which involved eating detergent, and the salt and ice challenge, which asked people to pour salt on their bodies and quickly cover it with ice, causing a burning sensation akin to frost bite.

The policy regarding children also comes after alarming videos that made national headlines.

Maryland couple Michael and Heather Martin were convicted of child neglect and lost custody of two of their children after they filmed themselves screaming at their children until the kids broke down in tears in sick YouTube “pranks.”

YouTube made it clear, however, that safe pranks, like the water bottle flip challenge, still have a place on the popular platform.

Categories: Business | Technology
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.