The ‘Bird Box challenge’: Social media’s latest dangerous dilemma

Bird Box challengeThe so-called ‘Bird Box challenge’ inspired by the Netflix film, in which users blind-folded themselves while performing tasks including driving, is the latest of dangerous prank video postings in recent years.

YouTube and other social media platforms are walking a fine line, when it comes to new policies clamping down on content that depicts dangerous challenges and pranks, according to Virginia Tech professor of communication, Mike Horning.

“I am sure that the companies feel some responsibility to make social media a better experience for people. However, they also want to avoid government regulation, and they want to attract advertising revenue,” said Horning. “So there is an incentive here to self-police things that pose a public risk, and there is also incentive to make sure that content on YouTube is attractive to advertisers.”

“Most of us don’t want our children, in particular, to be exposed to these kinds of risky behaviors. However, the policy will likely raise new questions about where content crosses a line,” said Horning.

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