YouTube has banned dangerous or distressing pranks after a string of viral challenge videos caused injuries and deaths. In an updated section of its FAQs, the Google-owned site said: “Our Community Guidelines prohibit content that encourages dangerous activities that are likely to result in serious harm, and today clarifying what this means for dangerous challenges and pranks.” From now on, the site said it would ban videos featuring “pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury.” That will include prank videos which trick people into thinking they’re in severe danger, even if that danger doesn’t really exist, and pranks that “cause children to experience severe emotional distress.” The new rules come after a series of dangerous stunts and challenges. Last May, a woman was sentenced to six months in prison after shooting dead her boyfriend in what they hoped would be a viral video. There was also a spike in cases of illness from people eating Tide pods in a viral challenge, and the recent “Bird Box challenge” has seen people carry out tasks while blindfolded.
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