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YouTube is now banning the Bird Box Challenge and other dangerous viral stunts

Social-media challenges can occasionally be fun and can actually be used for a good cause. But why is it that the most popular and viral challenges tend to be the ones that put their participants in grave danger?

Dancing alongside a moving car, ingesting a detergent, moving while blindfolded, eating spoonfuls of cinnamon, chewing on a ghost pepper – the list goes on and on. With these types of antics, it’s scary to think what other challenges await us in the future.

Thankfully, one of the main breeding grounds for these pranks and stunts is doing something about it. It’s about time, don’t you think?

YouTube wants to stop everyone from doing stupid stunts

YouTube is putting its foot down and is finally putting strict guidelines against the dangerous, harmful (and oftentimes stupid) viral challenge videos posted at its site.

Now, 15-minutes-of-fame hopefuls will have to seek their fortunes elsewhere as notorious social media favorites like the recent Bird Box Challenge, the Kiki Challenge, and the Tide Pod Challenge will be completely banned from the video-sharing platform.

The updated rules follow reports of a teenager crashing her car in Utah while attempting the “Bird Box Challenge” by driving while blindfolded. Thankfully, except for maybe a bruised ego, no one was hurt in that incident.

Note: The Bird Box Challenge is based on the Sandra Bullock-led horror film that debuted on Netflix last month.

Simply put, the characters in the movie have to wear blindfolds so they don’t die. As expected, some fans started putting on blindfolds, attempting to move around, then posted their videos on social media for everyone to see.


YouTube explained in its official announcement: “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.

‘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.”

‘Shocking’ thumbnails are banned, too

Aside from challenges and pranks, channels that use custom thumbnail images that contain questionable material, including pornography and violence, will receive strikes even though the videos themselves don’t violate YouTube’s guidelines.

Selecting “shocking” thumbnails is a strategy used by some channels to get more clicks and views, so it’s great that YouTube is cracking down on these bait-and-switch tactics too.

Two-month cleanup starts now

YouTube may have updated its guidelines but creators have two months to clean up their acts. During this time, all dangerous challenge, prank videos and questionable thumbnails will be removed but their channels won’t be penalized with a strike.

After the two-month grace period, any channel that receives three strikes in 90 days will be terminated. Channels who repeatedly use questionable thumbnails will first lose their custom thumbnail access and three strikes in 90 days will likewise terminate their accounts.

What do you think? Will these updated guidelines make YouTube (and hopefully, the whole world) a safer place? Drop us a comment!

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