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YouTube revises guidelines to address dangerous pranks, challenges (Lead)

San Francisco, Jan 16 (IANS): | Publish Date: 1/16/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

Aiming to let its users know that dangerous viral pranks such as the Bird Box challenge or the Tide Pod stunt have no place on the platform, video-sharing giant YouTube has updated its community guidelines.

The move comes in the wake of Bird Box challenges that are going viral, and that urge participants to go around wearing blindfolds.

"YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, but we need to make sure what's funny doesn't cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous. 

"We've updated our external guidelines to make it clear that we prohibit challenges presenting a risk of serious danger or death, and pranks that make victims believe they're in serious physical danger, or cause children to experience severe emotional distress," Camilla, Community Manager, TeamYouTube, wrote in a blog post late on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, a teenager in the US state of Utah crashed her car while performing the Bird Box challenge being blindfolded, according to the Mashable. 

The video-sharing platform has seen a surge in users posting recordings of themselves engaging in dangerous stunts/challenges.

The Google-owned company started removing videos of the Tide Pod challenge a year ago. The challenge involves participants putting their health at risk by eating the bright-coloured laundry detergent packs known as "pods". 

YouTube is also threatening strikes against channels that "egregiously" violate policies with their videos' thumbnail images or web links, even if the videos themselves are innocuous, according to the Engadget.

Users who rack up multiple strikes will lose their access to custom thumbnails, and those who get three strikes in 90 days will lose their accounts completely, the report added.

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