As the #TidePodChallenge spreads like wildfire across social media, with teens daring each other to eat the miniature, neon, detergent-filled pods, YouTube has intervened and banned all videos as they violate community guidelines.
“YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Daily Meal on Jan. 18. “We work to quickly remove flagged videos that violate our policies.”
“We’ve long had policies around harmful and dangerous challenges like this one and we remove the content when flagged,” the spokesperson added, noting that YouTube staffers have been removing the Tide Pod videos “for a while now.”
The trend was arguably conceived in 2015 after The Onion published a piece romanticizing how delicious the pods would taste to a toddler. Soon after, College Humor took the bright idea to YouTube, where teens have found inspiration ever since to pop the chemical-laden pods in their mouths.
With the #TidePodChallenge going more viral than ever just days into 2018, Tide parent company Procter & Gamble quickly took action. On Jan. 12, they releasing a cautionary video starring New England Patriots tight end and kid favorite Rob Gronkowski scolding viewers of even thinking of munching on Tide Pods.
"What the heck is going on, people? Use Tide Pods for washing. Not eating," Gronkowski says in the clip, which has since been viewed over 6.9 million times and counting.
According to the representative for YouTube, “videos that discuss the challenge in a news setting or educational or documentary way are allowed,” as the network continues to combat this dangerous fad.
As innocent as they may seem, the squishy, day-glo colored detergent packs contain polyvinyl alcohol, denatonium benzoate, fatty acid , alcoholethoxy sulfate, disodium distyrylbiphenyl disulfonate, mannanase, amylase, diethylenetriamine pentaacetate, and calcium formate, Wired reports.
Further, Dr. Alfred Aleguas Jr. of the Florida Poison Information Center told CBS News that if swallowed, consuming the detergent can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and can be “life-threatening,” in extreme cases. The outlet adds that pods have been blamed for at least 10 deaths to date, two from toddlers and eight from senior citizens with dementia.
Moving forward, YouTube is wise to closely monitor the dangerous online craze, in hopes of avoiding another Logan Paul-like controversy.