The video website has banned dangerous challenges after people drove with blindfolds on and ate detergent pods.
YouTube has banned prank and dangerous challenge videos after people started wearing blindfolds while driving.The Google owned platform has updated its guidelines after the Netflix film Bird Box saw people start pulling blindfolds over their eyes to perform tasks.
One teenager crashed her car in the US after pulling her hat over her eyes while driving. YouTube said it can be a home for light-hearted pranks but reinforced that stunts which put people in danger were against its site policy.
In a new post to the FAQ section on its website, the company said: “YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, like Jimmy Kimmel’s Terrible Christmas Presents prank or the water bottle flip challenge.
“That said, we’ve always had policies to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous. Our Community Guidelines prohibit content that encourages dangerous activities that are likely to result in serious harm, and today (we are) clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks.”
A follow up post stated: “Challenges that present an apparent risk of death are not allowed on YouTube. Content that features a child participating in dangerous challenges that pose an imminent risk of injury or bodily harm are also not allowed on YouTube.
“We also don’t allow pranks that lead victims to believe that they are in physical danger or that can cause real physical harm. Dangerous or abusive pranks that may cause emotional distress to children are not allowed.”
Last year a public awareness campaign was launched in the US after an increase in reports of poisoning when a challenge to eat Tide detergent pods went viral.
YouTube clarified that challenges like the Tide pod or the fire challenge had no place on the site.The fire challenge involved putting flammable liquids on the person’s body and setting them alight while being filmed. Some people suffered severe burns as a result of the challenge.
The site had been accused of failing to properly police its platform, and UK and US governments warned they could introduce legislation if firms do not become more proactive.
YouTube said it had worked with child psychologists to develop the guidelines around the types of pranks which would be acceptable on the site.
YouTube users can report videos they believe are dangerous by flagging them on the platform.