YouTube bans videos that involve dangerous pranks after risky 'Bird Box Challenge' sweeps internet
People fell down stairs and even crashed cars as part of the challenge, based on the Sandra Bullock film
YouTube has announced it's no longer allowing videos that involve dangerous pranks or challenges on its site.
The move comes after thousands of users posted videos of themselves trying the "Bird Box challenge" — performing various tasks while blindfolded.
The challenge stemmed from the Netflix film Bird Box starring Sandra Bullock, in which characters are forced to perform difficult tasks while blindfolded or face almost certain death.
"We recently announced updates to our policies regarding dangerous challenges and pranks," reads an update on the Google-owned site.
"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."
The announcement also says pranks in which victims are led to believe they're in serious physical danger, or that can cause real physical harm, are also not permitted.
The same goes for "dangerous or abusive pranks that may cause emotional distress to children."
After Netflix released Bird Box, thousands of YouTube users began posting videos of themselves doing dangerous things — riding a go-kart in a home, falling down stairs and walking into poles — all while blindfolded.
Lmaooo the baby!!!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/birdboxmemes?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#birdboxmemes</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BirdBox?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BirdBox</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/birdboxmemes?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#birdboxmemes</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BirdBoxChallenge?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BirdBoxChallenge</a> <a href="https://t.co/4dhhIi6Str">pic.twitter.com/4dhhIi6Str</a>—@birdboxmemes
YouTube's changes came days after a Utah teenager crashed into another car while driving blindfolded.
Earlier, the popular meme prompted Netflix to release a tweet thanking viewers for the love, but pleading with them to stay safe.
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
After the Utah crash, police also tweeted asking people not to attempt the Bird Box challenge.
"Watch the movie, be happy that's not your reality, but please don't blindfold yourself to relate. Especially not while driving," wrote the Portland Police. "Most of us have a hard enough time driving safely with unobstructed vision."
Let’s talk “bird box challenge”. Don’t do it. Don’t think about doing it. Watch the movie, be happy that’s not your reality, but please don’t blindfold yourself to relate. Especially not while driving. Most of us have a hard enough time driving safely with unobstructed vision. <a href="https://t.co/ZpDF0WDUBL">pic.twitter.com/ZpDF0WDUBL</a>—@PolicePortland
In the film, which is based on a 2014 novel by Josh Malerman, Sandra Bullock and her two children must navigate a forest and a rushing river while blindfolded in order to avoid supernatural entities. Those that "see" the invisible entities either die by suicide or force others to look, sending them to almost certain death.
Bird Box premiered in November, and began streaming worldwide on December 21.