YouTube clarifies rules on pranks as risky memes rage
YouTube forbids posting content inciting dangerous activities likely to result in serious harm. — AFP pic SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 16 — YouTube yesterday clarified rules against posting videos of dangerous pranks, as risky “challenges” prompt people to video themselves doing things like biting into laundry soap or driving blindfolded.The company already forbid content inciting dangerous activities likely to result in serious harm.But the clarifications “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,” the company said in a blog post.“We've made it clear that our policies prohibiting harmful and dangerous content also extend to pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury,” said YouTube, which like other social networks is trying to show that it is better tackling problematic content.It made clear the updated policies ban pranks that trick people into thinking they are in danger, such as fake home invasions or drive-by shootings.“YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks, like Jimmy Kimmel's 'Terrible Christmas Presents' prank or the water bottle flip challenge,” said YouTube, owned by Google's parent Alphabet.“That said, we've always had policies to make sure what's funny doesn't cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous.”While playful or goofy challenges or pranks have become raging trends online, with video shared at YouTube or Facebook, some “memes” have put people in jeopardy.A “Fire Challenge” dared people to put flammable liquid on their bodies then ignite it, while a “Tide Pod Challenge” involved people, typically teens, biting or chewing the encapsulated candy-colored laundry detergent.A “Bird Box” thriller released on Netflix a month ago inspired a challenge for people to do things blindfolded, mimicking characters in the original streaming film.A US teenager over the weekend crashed while driving with her eyes covered, taking part in a challenge inspired by the hit Netflix show, according to media reports.YouTube policy also bans pranks that cause children trauma, for example the fake death of a parent or severe abandonment, according to the firm.Accounts that post videos violating policies on pranks will get a “strike” that will limit some features such as live streaming.A second strike within three months will result in even more limited use of YouTube, while accounts getting three strikes in that time period will be terminated. — AFP [...]
Taking Daily Aspirin May Be Risky for Healthy Older Adults: Study
For years, taking a daily aspirin was believed to be one of the easiest ways to protect long-term health. But the bottom line on aspirin has recently gotten more complicated. Some research finds that aspirin can potentially reduce the risk of heart attacks and cancer, and some suggests that aspirin’s possible side effects, such as bleeding and ulcers, overshadow its advantages for many people. Now, a trio of new research articles are calling that classic health advice further into question. The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that taking a daily aspirin offers few appreciable health benefits for healthy older adults — and potentially comes with some real risks. Taking aspirin daily does not appear to prolong elderly adults’ healthy lifespan or reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, the data suggests. Further, the habit was associated with a higher risk of major bleeding and mortality, according to the research. More than 19,000 healthy Australian and American adults over 70 participated in the study. About half the group took a 100-milligram aspirin tablet each day, while the others took a placebo pill. The researchers then monitored the study participants for the development of disease, dementia, disability and death. Pharmaceutical company Bayer provided aspirin and placebos for the trial, but was not involved in study design or execution. Over an average of about five years of follow-up, the researchers found no significant difference in disability-free survival — that is, living without dementia or significant physical ailments — between the aspirin and placebo groups. During the follow-up period, 921 aspirin-takers died, developed dementia or became disabled, compared to 914 people in the placebo group. That result convinced the National Institute on Aging, which funded the study, to end the experiment early, because “it was extremely unlikely that continuation of the trial intervention would reveal a benefit with regard to [disability-free survival.]” Years of evidence have found that aspirin can help prevent cardiac issues among people who have already had heart attacks or strokes, potentially by preventing blood clots and reducing inflammation. But the researchers found a more complicated picture for the healthy older adults involved in the study. The aspirin- and placebo-takers had approximately equal rates of cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks, strokes and heart failure, though the researchers noted that the overall rate of heart issues was lower than expected. Meanwhile, compared to those in the placebo group, adults taking aspirin had a higher risk of major bleeding, a common side effect of the drug. Those results suggest that for adults who have never had a major heart issue and are not highly likely to have one, the risks of taking daily aspirin may outweigh the benefits, whereas the opposite may be true for people with a history of heart problems. Finally, the researchers observed a higher death rate among the aspirin-takers (558 fatalities) versus the placebo-takers (494). Most excess deaths were related to cancer, which was surprising, since prior research suggests that aspirin can help prevent some cancers. The researchers warn that the data should be “interpreted with caution” and does not necessarily mean that aspirin causes cancer; further, the study’s relatively brief follow-up period was likely too short to capture any cancer-prevention benefits of the drug, they say. The researchers caution that their study “did not directly address the question of whether healthy older persons who have been using aspirin for primary prevention should continue or discontinue its use.” Individuals should discuss their unique risks and benefits with a doctor. [...]