YouTube bans dangerous or harmful pranks

YouTube has said it will no longer allow dangerous stunts or pranks that could be emotionally distressing for kids. From its FAQ:

We’ve updated our external guidelines to make it clear that challenges like the Tide pod challenge or the Fire challenge, that can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances, have no place on YouTube.

It’s interesting for a number of reasons. Me on BBC News:

The move comes in response to so-called “challenges” that have sometimes resulted in death or injury. The Google-owned video sharing site said such material had “no place on YouTube”. However, the firm appears to be failing to enforce its existing rules on harmful content.

Interesting because a) it gives its moderators a wildly ambiguous task when it comes to decided what is dangerous or harmful, and b) the site is already really struggling cleaning up other stuff. Buzzfeed’s Davey Alba writes:

Nearly a year after YouTube pledged to remove images of graphic bestiality from its platform, simple search queries that include the word “girl” along with “horse” or “dog” (“girl horse” or “girl and her horse”) return dozens of videos promoted with thumbnails of women seemingly engaged in sexual acts with those animals.

As I mentioned in my short piece for BBC radio, what was once “don’t try this at home” is now very much “don’t put this on YouTube”. We’ll see if it works.