Back in the day, before internet pranks involved ruining someone’s life or tricking them into watching a cheesy music video, we all got our kicks with jump scare videos. It was a simple gag: You tell someone to find the secret object hidden in a “photo,” and after a minute or so of silence, a scary face would appear and make a loud noise. Recently, Warner Bros. decided to revive this classic gag for a YouTube ad promoting the upcoming Conjuring spin-off The Nun. As reported by Polygon (via our friends at Gizmodo), the short ad opens with a black screen and a fake indicator that the volume on your computer is being turned down. Then there’s a loud bang, the demon nun from the movie appears, and there’s a piercing scream. Unsurprisingly, YouTube users really hate it.
A tweet warning YouTubers about the ad is currently sitting at over 130,000 retweets, which was enough to draw the attention of YouTube itself. Polygon notes that YouTube has policies in place to block ads that are “likely to shock or scare” or have violent content, but that usually just applies to real images and not fake demon nuns. Still, late last night, YouTube caved to the anti-nun lobby and pulled the offending ad for—as noted on twitter—violating the “shocking content policy.” Considering that the ad was literally noting but “shocking content,” you’d think somebody would’ve caught this before it went live, but YouTube is just a small mom-and-pop shop anyway. It’s not like it has the manpower to monitor every single ad that appears on the platform.