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YouTube Bans Dangerous Stunts and Emotionally Distressing Pranks

YouTube has banned seriously dangerous stunts and emotionally distressing pranks from its platform, following yet another craze involving people putting themselves at risk for clicks.

The latest such trend involves people blindfolding themselves and going about their daily business — a nod to the hit Netflix movie Bird Box. YouTube earlier this month started taking down videos where parents were blindfolding their kids, donning blindfolds themselves, then walking around — one clip reportedly involved a toddler smacking into a wall.

Previous examples of misguided stunts and pranks involved a woman shooting her boyfriend dead, kids maiming themselves in a stunt called the Roundabout of Death, mock kidnappings and home invasions, the infamous “Tide Pod challenge,” in which teenagers ate liquid detergent, and the Fire challenge, which literally involved people setting themselves on fire.

“We’ve always had policies to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous,” YouTube said in an update. “Our Community Guidelines prohibit content that encourages dangerous activities that are likely to result in serious harm, and today clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks.”

“We’ve updated our external guidelines to make it clear that 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. We’ve made it clear that our policies prohibiting harmful and dangerous content also extend to pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury. We don’t allow pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger.”

The platform said it would be giving users a two-month grace period during which their line-crossing videos would be removed, but their channels would not receive a strike. According to YouTube’s guidelines, users who get three strikes in as many months will find their accounts terminated.