YouTube’s New Stance on Pranks and Challenges

Every now and then, the world goes into a frenzy with new sensational pranks and challenges that go viral. YouTube, one of the most popular video hosting platforms is the home to many such phenomena. The pursuit of viral content make silly antics common on YouTube, the troubling incidents they often become have caused everyone’s favorite video hosting platform to toughen its stance on such pranks and challenges. The stance being, “DON’T DO IT!!”

In the past, we have seen Harlem Shake and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge break the internet. People all over the world trying their version and posting it on YouTube. The intent of these challenges ranges from having harmless fun to promoting an upcoming product, service, movie etc. to spreading awareness about important issues.

Many celebrities, public figures including politicians and film stars are seen attempting these challenges, leading to more and more people following in their footsteps. These pranks and challenges bring with them some memorable stories, epic videos that can still be found on the internet but also face slack when attempting these challenges ends up in a freak mishap.

YouTube has updated its community guidelines for creators, adding a new section on dangerous pranks and challenges. This change has been triggered by some of the stories coming to light from the Bird Box challenge and the Fire challenge.

What does YouTube policy update say about pranks and challenges?

An exact quote from the policy states, “… we need to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous.”

YouTube is explicitly banning the kind of pranks that even let the victim believe they might be in any danger or cause emotional distress. This includes pranks like home invasions, muggings and other things in the genre.

So what now?

YouTube has given all creators a two-month grace period as it takes down the pranks and challenges content from the platform. After that, posting such content will be counted as a strike against the concerned creator.

YouTube has empowered people to reach out to the world and build a loyal audience like never before in history. The famous line from Spider-man comes to mind, “With great power comes great responsibility.” YouTube has the power to influence millions of people across the globe and from the looks of it, this step is a responsible one.

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Aseem Gupta

Aseem Gupta

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