Nairobi News


YouTube bans dangerous pranks and challenges

By HILARY KIMUYU January 18th, 2019 1 min read

YouTube has banned users from sharing videos of dangerous pranks that put people’s lives in jeopardy .

In an update to its policies on harmful or dangerous content on Wednesday, the video-sharing platform said; “challenges that present an apparent risk of death are not allowed on YouTube.”

These include content that encourages or promotes dangerous and/or illegal activity like “instructional bomb making” and “hard drug use”.

As with most YouTube policies, the examples given are not an exhaustive list, meaning that YouTube’s moderators will decide what is considered a harmful or dangerous prank when they review individual videos.

The US-based website, which is owned by Google, said it will not allow the upload of prank or challenge videos “that can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances,” adding that they “have no place” on its site.


It cited examples like the Tide Pod challenge, where social media users eat laundry detergent packets on camera, and the Fire Challenge in which people douse themselves in flammable liquid and set themselves alight.

YouTube added that it does not allow “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger, for example, a home invasion prank or a drive-by shooting prank.”

The site said it is currently working to remove videos that violate the new guidelines.

It has given creators a grace period of two months to “review and clean up content” before the ban comes fully into effect.

The update comes amid concern about the popularity of pranks like the Bird Box challenge, inspired by a scene in the Netflix movie “Bird Box,” where users blindfold themselves and perform everyday tasks.