YouTube bans “dangerous pranks” after ‘Bird Box’ challenge goes viral

"Challenges that present an apparent risk of death are not allowed on YouTube."

YouTube has announced a ban on videos that depict “dangerous challenges and pranks”, after a string of incidents that were seemingly caused by the ‘Bird Box’ challenge.

The viral craze was inspired by the Netflix film of the same name and saw users performing a variety of tasks while blindfolded in a bid to emulate the events of the Sandra Bullock movie.

Although some were seemingly innocuous, the danger stakes were continually raised by YouTubers including Jake Paul – and culminated in an incident last week when a teenage girl drove her car into the path of oncoming traffic while blindfolded.

Now, YouTube has announced a ban on the challenges, citing their potential ability to “cause death.”

“YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, like Jimmy Kimmel’s Terrible Christmas Presents prank or the water bottle flip challenge,” the tech giant wrote in a statement.

“That said, we’ve always had policies to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous. Our Community Guidelines prohibit content that encourages dangerous activities that are likely to result in serious harm, and today (we are) clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks.”

A follow-up post confirmed: “Challenges that present an apparent risk of death are not allowed on YouTube. Content that features a child participating in dangerous challenges that pose an imminent risk of injury or bodily harm are also not allowed on YouTube.

“We also don’t allow pranks that lead victims to believe that they are in physical danger or that can cause real physical harm. Dangerous or abusive pranks that may cause emotional distress to children are not allowed.”

The latest dangerous craze comes after the Tide Pod challenge swept the US last year – which saw users risking serious internal injuries by eating balls of liquid clothes detergent.