Pranks and dangerous challenges aren’t new to social media and have resulted in injury and death.
However, the Bird Box Challenge seems to be the last straw for YouTube. After its recent popularity, YouTube has changed their rules regarding pranks and challenges.
The Bird Box Challenge was inspired by the Netflix film Bird Box. People participating imitate scenes from the movie when characters perform common tasks while blindfolded, including driving.
The challenge even reached Jake Paul, an online celebrity. The video of him, now removed from YouTube, shows Jake Paul with a blindfold in traffic.
Netflix made a statement on this challenge on Twitter earlier this month:
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.
— Netflix US (@netflix) January 2, 2019
In a post to the community, YouTube brought up how challenges like the Tide pod challenge or the Fire Challenge can or have caused death in the past and should not be featured on YouTube. Both of these challenges are relatively old in the world of the internet, with the Fire Challenge dating back to 2012 and the Tide Pod challenge emerging from a health risk in 2012 to a meme in December of 2017. While there was no mention to the Bird Box challenge, it can be assumed it was what caused YouTube to make banning dangerous acts a priority.
What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.
— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018
YouTube is also banning pranks that are physically harmless, but can cause emotional distress, such as a home invasion prank or a drive-by shooting prank.
YouTube says offenders will receive a strike and have their video removed. YouTubers can then appeal the strike if they feel the video content doesn’t violate Community Guidelines.