YouTube says goodbye to dangerous challenges

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Why the popular platform disabled the option to share videos of challenges and jokes?

YouTube says goodbye to dangerous challenges

New technologies and their constant development have led to new trends in human behavior. One of them is the need to create challenges or jokes so that people see them, imitate them and share them in social media, multiplying the challenge or the joke around the world. This dynamic is known as challenges.

Leer en español: YouTube le dice adiós a los retos

However, the most successful video platform worldwide, YouTube, has decided to prohibit users from sharing these audiovisual products with jokes and challenges. Why?

Content that incites dangerous behaviors or generates a sense of danger

There are fun and harmless challenges, but there are also some that are a real risk of physical damage and even death. According to CNN, YouTube updated the policies on harmful or dangerous content of the platform on Tuesday, January 15, blocking the upload of videos of jokes or challenges "that can cause death and/or have caused death in some cases".

"YouTube has long banned videos that promote harmful or dangerous activities, and we routinely review and update our policies to make sure they are consistent and appropriately address emerging trends," a YouTube spokesperson said in an interview with CNN.

Consequently, YouTube blocked the videos in which challenges represent a real danger of physical damage. "On YouTube, challenges that involve an apparent risk of death are not allowed. Nor is content allowed to show children participating in dangerous challenges that involve an imminent risk of injury or physical harm," the platform said on its website of harmful or dangerous content policies.

Similarly, videos, where jokes are made that also represent a risk, will be blocked. "Nor do we allow jokes that make victims believe they are in physical danger or that they can cause real physical harm. Offensive or dangerous jokes that can cause emotional stress to children are not allowed," the platform added on its website.

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What challenges motivated this YouTube block?

The most recent one that represents a real danger for those who do it is the Bird Box Challenge, which is inspired by Netflix's hit movie of the same name. It consists of blindfolding and performing daily activities such as driving, cooking, going to the mall, etc., which means a serious danger when you do not have visual control of the situation.

The dangerous situation spread to such an extent that Netflix had to ask its users to stop replicating it. "Can't believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE," the platform held on its official Twitter account on January 2. "We do not know how it 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," the tweet concluded.



Similarly, challenges such as the Tide Pod Challenge , in which users orally ingest laundry detergent; fire challenge in which people immerse themselves in flammable liquids and ignite; or the Kiki Challenge in which users leave their car on the move and dance, among many others, greatly alerted authorities and social media, motivating them to start taking drastic measures.

So what videos are not allowed on YouTube now?

The platform developed list on its website for videos that will not be allowed. These are:

  • Instructions for making bombs.
  • Challenges that encourage the performance of acts with an intrinsic risk of serious physical harm.
  • Jokes that make victims believe they are in physical danger.
  • Jokes that cause emotional stress to children.
  • Use of hard drugs.
  • Other acts that may cause serious injuries.

However, YouTube specified that it could allow videos showing dangerous actions if its main objective is educational, documentary, scientific or artistic and not unnecessarily graphic. Similarly, they assured that they will erase the existing videos that violate the new content policies, which could last a maximum of two months.

Some of the new internet trends have gone out of control on several occasions, so control entities and technology giants will be more attentive than ever. YouTube has taken an unprecedented decision in favor of the welfare of its users, which could motivate other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to replicate this measure, paradoxically, as a challenge.


LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana

Translated from: 'YouTube le dice adiós a los retos'