A CRAZE that had gone viral after being inspired by a movie has prompted YouTube to crack down on all prank content.
The crackdown comes after what was called the “Bird Box challenge” drove YouTube users to perform pranks.
The pranks were inspired by the thriller, titled Bird Box and released by Netflix in December. On January 16, YouTube announced that it will now have stricter controls on what is allowed to be uploaded into the popular platform, used by millions around the world.
The pranks involved users trying to perform differing tasks while blindfolded.
These tasks turned into stunts done by several influencers and the fans of the movie alike.
The movie Bird Box narrates a story taking place in a post-apocalyptic world, with characters wearing blindfolds to escape a mysterious force that turns humans into suicidal and homicidal psychopaths at first glimpse.
The movie became a hit and drew the attention of social media influencers. They then went on to capitalize on its success by performing stunts while blindfolded.
On January 7, a 17-year-old girl from Utah covered her eyes and drove a pickup truck, that ended up crashing into another vehicle.
“Bird Box Challenge while driving…predictable result. This happened on Monday as a result of the driver covering her eyes while driving on Layton Parkway. Luckily no injuries,” tweeted the police department of the city.
The same week saw Jake Paul, a YouTube celebrity, drive in and walk across a busy Los Angeles street while blindfolded as part of a 24-hour “Bird Box challenge.” The video has since been removed online for violating YouTube’s policy.
These two examples are among many recorded, despite warnings issued by Netflix on January 2.
“Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” read the post on the Twitter account of Netflix US, warning the movie fans against the dangerous implications the challenge.
Police departments across the United States have issued similar warnings.
“Don’t do it. Don’t think about doing it. Watch the movie, be happy that’s not your reality, but please don’t blindfold yourself to relate. Especially not while driving. Most of us have a hard enough time driving safely with unobstructed vision,” read a tweet by the Portland Police in Maine.
After witnessing the consequences of reckless behavior caused by these challenges, YouTube clamped down on them, saying: “Challenges that can cause death and/or have caused death in some instances have no place on YouTube.”