YouTube is cracking down on dangerous pranks and challenges after one seriously misguided meme went viral. The video streaming website has updated its guidelines to clarify what kinds of challenges and pranks are off-limits on the platform. YouTube says any challenge that “can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances” is not welcome. Two specific dangerous stunts are mentioned: the Tide Pod challenge, in which participants would chew and spit up Tide Pods, and the Fire challenge, in which participants would briefly set a part of their body on fire. YouTube additionally said any pranks “with a perceived danger of serious physical injury” are not allowed, such as “a home invasion prank or a drive-by shooting prank.” Also, any prank that could emotionally traumatize a child is banned.
YouTube’s guidelines already prohibit any activity that “encourages violence or dangerous activities that may result in serious physical harm, distress, or death,” but they now specifically outline how this affects the community’s popular challenges and pranks. The description of banned material would seem to apply in some instances to the recent “Bird Box” challenge, in which participants attempt to do everyday activities while wearing blindfolds like the characters in the Netflix film “Bird Box.” A 17-year-old in Utah recently crashed his car while wearing a blindfold as part of the challenge, and Jake Paul, who has 17 million YouTube subscribers, also filmed a video in which he drives his car blindfolded. That video has since been removed.