YouTube and Procter & Gamble owned detergent brand Tide have intervened to halt a growing spate of ‘Tide Pod’ challenge videos sprouting online, amidst concern that participants could be endangering their own life.
The craze, which began life as a social media joke, sees teens competing to place toxic laundry gel pods in their mouths and consume as many as possible in an online game of one-upmanship conducted via YouTube.
Fearing an inevitable hospitalization however YouTube has now removed all such content, pointing out that such clips violate its own guidelines by encouraging others to partake in activities which may result in physical harm.
In a statement the streaming service wrote: “Videos showing people participating in the Tide Pod challenge are removed from YouTube when flagged and the channel is given a strike for violating our Community Guidelines, which prohibit harmful or dangerous content.”
Tide has pledged to work with social media firms to assist with the removal of such content, stating: “Our laundry pacs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes," Tide said in a statement. "They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance is, even if meant as a joke.”
What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.
— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018
The fad highlights the power of the internet for good and ill, standing in stark contrast to the charity focussed Ice Bucket Challenge of three years ago.