Not long after Bird Box dropped on Netflix, people started living life blindfolded for the Bird Box challenge, so much so that it became dangerous. Now, YouTube is making major changes to their platform after the Bird Box challenge got way out of hand. In their updated policies, challenge videos like Bird Box and the Tide Pods Challenges are now officially banned from the platform.
There's a good reason for this. When the Bird Box challenge started getting big, Netflix themselves issued a warning to people that it is super dangerous and they should definitely not try it. None the less, thanks to popular videos on YouTube like that of Jake Paul, whose video has already been removed by Youtube, the challenge continued getting done and it was becoming really trendy.
Unfortunately, there is a dark side to challenges like this. Just last weekend, a teenager in the United States decided to try driving blindfolded as part of the challenge and not surprisingly ended up drifting into oncoming traffic and crashing. While no one was injured in this particular crash, it serves as a reminder that these online challenges have real-life consequences.
Since YouTube is inadvertently one of the main sources of dangerous trends like this one growing, they are now taking a stand.
In their new policy, any videos that show or highlight an apparent risk of death, such as living life and especially blindfolded will be banned from the platform. The policy also bans any videos, including prank videos, that involve children (anyone under 18 years old) participating in any activity where there's a risk of injury or bodily harm.
They also are banning any videos that encourage or incite violence, even if they are pranks, and videos that encourage dangerous or illegal activities, for example, bomb-making or hard drug use videos.
The YouTube guidelines also outline how they decide whether or not a video violates their policy. According to the guidelines, they consider the following factors when reviewing a video for possible removal:
- Whether the act in question could lead to serious injury or death.
- Whether the individuals participating in the act are trained professionals taking all necessary precautions to prevent injury.
- Whether the act could be easily imitated by children.
- Whether the Content could be used to commit serious acts of violence.
- Whether the upload is educational, documentary, scientific or artistic in nature.
There is also an option on YouTube for viewers and subscribers to report any videos that they think violate this policy. On YouTube, viewers can click on the three dots by a video, select report, and then choose one of the various reasons for reporting. YouTube reviews reported videos on a 24/7 basis.