YouTube says it has no place for Fire challenge, Tide pod or other pranks

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YouTube has updated its guidelines for dangerous challenges and pranks saying 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 video-sharing website on Wednesday clarified that the policies prohibiting harmful and dangerous content also extend to pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury. “We don’t allow pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger – for example, a home invasion prank or a drive-by shooting prank. We also don’t allow pranks that cause children to experience severe emotional distress, meaning something so bad that it could leave the child traumatized for life,” the company said in a blog post.

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YouTube works directly with child psychologists to develop guidelines around the types of pranks that cross this line, the statement said. Examples include the fake death of a parent or severe abandonment or shaming for mistakes.

“We’re clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks. YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, but we need to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous,” YouTube Community Manager, Camilla, said in a blog post.

The company has awarded a grace period to allow time to review the updates and make changes to your content.

“In the following two months as we ramp up enforcement, content that violates our Community Guidelines related to custom thumbnails, external links, challenges, and pranks will be removed but the channel will not receive a strike. Content that was posted prior to these enforcement updates may be removed, but will not receive a strike,” said the post.

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YouTube’s Community Guidelines set the rules of the road for what the company allows, doesn’t allow on YouTube and not only apply to videos but all content, including comments, thumbnails, links, posts, live chat, etc.

It relies on a combination of people and technology to flag inappropriate content and enforce these guidelines. Enforcement refers to actions that YouTube takes to uphold our Community Guidelines – for example removing and issuing a strike for a video that violates our policies.

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