YouTube Community Guidelines Update Calls Out Prank Channels like Ace Family and Daddy Of Five

On Tuesday night, YouTube announced major changes to its external Community Guidelines that target pranks and challenges. The updated guidelines say that pranks " that lead victims to believe they are in physical danger or that can cause real physical harm" or "that may cause emotional distress to children" are no longer allowed on the platform. This change comes after years of controversy surrounding the existence of prank channels and discussions about whether they should be allowed on the video streaming platform.

"Challenges that present an apparent risk of death" and that "pose an imminent risk of injury or bodily harm" are all also not allowed on YouTube.

In a blog post from early on Wednesday, Camilla at Team YouTube goes into a bit more detail on these Community Guideline changes. She says that some challenges like "Jimmy Kimmel's Terrible Christmas Presents prank or the water bottle flip challenge" are an important part of YouTube, but the site wants to make sure pranks don't step over the line. They want to "prohibit content that causes serious harm" and limit the damage done to challenge participants. The Tide Pod challenge, where players attempted to eat an extremely poisonous sack of bleach because the internet told them to, was cited as one such challenge.

This blog post also mentions a different pranks that refer to very specific instances. "Home Invasion pranks," where content creators pretend to break into the homes of unsespecting victims, have been popular with family YouTube channels like the Ace Family and more risque content creators like Sam Pepper. Pranks that are "so bad they leave a child traumatized for life" might refer to the Daddy Of Five YouTube channel, where the family lost custody of two of their children because of the troublesome and abusive nature of their "prank" videos.

These changes are long overdue. Channels like PrankInvasion, JoeySalads, FouseyTube and others post "fake" pranks that younger viewers may feel are the real thing. These videos are made solely for the clicks and can sometimes pull in tens of millions of impressionable viewers. YouTube cracking down on this content is a great step forward in proper moderation, but there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. There are channels losing their videos to corporate giants, channels disappearing that leave their creators without a job and traditional celebrities creeping onto the platform at the expense of the personalities that built it.