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Not worth it: YouTube, TikTok and Facebook won't let you post viral challenges or dangerous content

In 2012 a new trend revolutionized social networks: the Gangnam Style challenge . At the time this song was a worldwide hit, becoming the most played YouTube video of the year. The challenge was to imitate the dance steps of Korean rapper PSY, but now some of the challenges have taken a dangerous turn.

This could be considered one of the first challenges on the internet ; a dare or challenge that goes viral . They are usually started by youtubers, influencers or famous people. Among them we can find everything from dances to campaigns for a cause, such as the “Ice Bucket Challenge” at the time, which sought to raise awareness in favor of people suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Currently, challenges have become part of the daily landscape of social networks. They usually go viral through a hashtag and migrate from platform to platform.

However, something that has drawn attention is that some of these challenges can be dangerous. Challenges such as the “Blackout Challenge”, one of the most sought after on Tik Tok, was the cause of the death of at least four minors around the world, as it consisted of holding their breath for as long as possible until losing consciousness and then counting the experience.

For this reason, the platforms have been aware of the evolution of the challenges throughout history and have implemented measures to try to mitigate the risks and that users do not promote challenges that could threaten the integrity of people. We explain them to you:

Policies on Instagram and Facebook

The Meta Transparency Center has to talk about the organization of harmful acts and promotion of crime that mentions: “To prevent and avoid offline harm, and the imitation of such behavior, we do not allow people to facilitate, organize, promote or admit certain criminal or harmful activities directed at persons, businesses, property, or animals.”

In said policy they mention that it is prohibited to publish content “that represents, promotes, defends or encourages participation in dangerous viral challenges”.

In turn, content that exposes people, harms animals, property, or electoral or census fraud is prohibited.

It is also prohibited to publish content that puts LGBTQI+ people at risk by revealing their sexual identity against their will or without their consent and content that puts unveiled women at risk, in the case of their religion, by revealing their image without a veil. against your will or without your consent.

When someone makes these types of posts, the platform lets them know that they violated the Community Guidelines, provides an explanation as to why the content was removed, requests feedback, and gives them the right to reply.

Dangerous viral challenges on Youtube

YouTube is, according to, the second most visited website in the world with 1,700 million unique visitors per month, which implies an important challenge and responsibility regarding the security of your videos.

According to a statement sent to this medium, from January 2022 to March 2022, the platform removed 4,410,349 channels for violating the community guidelines.

In turn, they also mentioned: “YouTube is built on the premise of openness. Maintaining an open platform is one of the most important factors, but openness also brings some challenges, so responsibility efforts are based on the “4Rs” which are as follows:

  1. Remove infringing content: They use a combination of machine learning and people to remove infringing content, search for authoritative sources, and reduce the spread of problematic content (more on this by Neal Mohan).
  2. Reduce the content that is on the line between what is allowed and what is not: Through its recommendation systems, try to reduce the questionable content that may violate the Community Guidelines. To determine this, have a team of outside consultants and eliminate them. you can see what the platform’s efforts are to combat disinformation.
  3. Highlight authoritative and verified sources: To highlight authoritative sources, people who come to YouTube receive news through breaking news shelves and information boards.
  4. Reward content that meets their standards: They reward these videos with ads, seeing monetization as a privilege.

Tik Tok Policies

This is the challenge platform par excellence, since the vast majority of the challenges are found here. For this, the social network has had to be careful with the videos and takes numerous measures.

According to his “content on TikTok is first analyzed by an algorithm that identifies and reports possible violations of the rules, such as nudity or violent and graphic content. When a violation of the Community Guidelines is detected, it is automatically removed or reported for further review by our Safety Team.”

In the event that an infraction is detected, the video is deleted and the creator is informed of the reason. As in Meta, there is also the opportunity to request the removal review directly from the application.

On the other hand, breaking the rules more often will result in more penalties, including temporary or permanent account suspension. If it is the first violation, a notification is sent, but if the violation violates the zero tolerance policy , it will result in an automatic ban.

If there are multiple violations, the sanctions range from a temporary ban to a permanent ban. Within its zero tolerance policy are infractions such as the publication of content related to the sexual abuse of minors.

They can also lock a device to help prevent future account creation.

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