After a US teenager crashed while driving with her eyes covered, taking part in a challenge inspired by the hit Netflix thriller Bird Box, YouTube on Tuesday clarified rules against posting videos of dangerous pranks, as risky “challenges” prompt people to video themselves doing things like biting into laundry soap or driving blindfolded.
The challenge urges people to do daily and potentially harmful tasks with their eyes covered, as a homage to the Netflix movie Bird Box.
The popularity of the challenge even prompted Netflix to issue a warning against unsafe behavior. “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes,” a tweet by Netflix read.
A 17-year-old girl Layton, Utah, was driving blindfolded when she lost control and crashed into another car. Officers said she was participating in the popular “Bird Box” social media challenge. KSL reported the driver had her beanie over her eyes at the time of the crash. She skidded into oncoming traffic, hit a car and a light pole. There were no serious injuries in the crash.
How Twitter reacted
While some people went to extremes, some Twitter users took the right path by sharing some hilarious memes and jokes on social media. Check out some funny ones:
What’s banned on Youtube?
The company already forbids content inciting dangerous activities likely to result in serious harm.
But the clarifications “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,” the company said in a blog post.
“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,” said YouTube, which like other social networks is trying to show that it is better tackling problematic content.
It made clear the updated policies ban pranks that trick people into thinking they are in danger, such as fake home invasions or drive-by shootings.
“YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, like Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Terrible Christmas Presents’ prank or the water bottle flip challenge,” said YouTube, owned by Google’s parent Alphabet.
“That said, we’ve always had policies to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous.”
While playful or goofy challenges or pranks have become raging trends online, with video shared at YouTube or Facebook, some “memes” have put people in jeopardy.
A “Fire Challenge” dared people to put flammable liquid on their bodies then ignite it, while a “Tide Pod Challenge” involved people, typically teens, biting or chewing the encapsulated candy-colored laundry detergent.
YouTube policy also bans pranks that cause children trauma, for example the fake death of a parent or severe abandonment, according to the firm. Accounts that post videos violating policies on pranks will get a “strike” that will limit some features such as live streaming.
A second strike within three months will result in even more limited use of YouTube, while accounts getting three strikes in that time period will be terminated.
(With AFP input)