Tide Pod Challenge: YouTube takes a stand against the ridiculous – and dangerous – craze

In what’s undoubtedly one of the stranger online fads I’ve ever seen, teenagers have been challenging each other to eat ‘Tide Pods’, a type of colourful detergent capsule that’s meant for cleaning your clothes.

Tide Pod Challenge: YouTube takes a stand against the ridiculous - and dangerous - craze

It’s difficult to fathom quite what the appeal of ingesting concentrated detergent could be, but it’s highly likely the latest example of people performing increasingly dangerous stunts in order to boost their online profile. In fact, some teens have become so desperate to up the ante in what’s been dubbed the ‘Tide Pod challenge’ that they’ve even resorted to cooking with them, according to USA Today.

No doubt, ridiculous memes like this one don’t help.

The craze has got so out of hand that, according to Time, there have been 39 cases of teenagers misusing laundry pods on purpose reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers in just the first 15 days of January. To put that in context, that’s the same number of reports as for the whole of 2016 and only 14 less than the entire year in 2017.

After getting itself in plenty of hot water for the controversy surrounding Logan Paul’s video in Aokigahara forest, it comes as no surprise that YouTube has been quick to try to separate itself from the craze.

In a statement to Fast Company, the video has said: “YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm. We work quickly to remove flagged videos that violate our policies.”

However, It’s not just YouTube condemning the Tide Pod Challenge. Last week, Tide, the company which manufactures the capsules, tweeted “What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else” and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission tweeted “Please don’t eat laundry pods”.

It shouldn’t need explaining to anyone – except for maybe very small children – that eating detergent won’t do your body any good. The chemicals can cause diarrhea, vomiting, breathing problems, and even death. But yeah, just in case there’s any doubt, don’t eat laundry capsules, kids.

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