The company recently announced the content crack-down, and singled out videos that present an apparent risk of death, videos that cause children to experience emotional distress and videos that make “prank” victims believe they’re in real danger, like a home invasion or drive-by shooting prank, as those that would be getting the boot.
Still, it comes at the same time as the “Bird Box” challenge, which has been criticised for its stupidity: users are encouraged to complete tasks while blindfolded, as inspired by the Netflix film of the same name. Users have done things like climb down stairs, apply makeup, and in some cases, like a 17-year-old girl in Utah, drive a car. The teen crashed her car while attempting the challenge, though no one was injured.
It’s not the first dangerous challenge to take off. Over the years, people have filmed themselves doing all sorts of ridiculous stunts, like the Fire Challenge, which saw people pour flammable liquids onto their bodies and light themselves aflame, the Tide Pod challenge, which involved eating detergent, and the salt and ice challenge, which asked people to pour salt on their bodies and quickly cover it with ice, causing a burning sensation akin to frost bite.
YouTube made it clear, however, that safe pranks, like the water bottle flip challenge, still have a place on the popular platform.