Social media platforms YouTube and Facebook are removing any Tide Pod Challenge videos from their sites, saying the content is “dangerous” and poses an “inherent risk of physical harm.”
“Our Community Standards prohibit content that promotes or encourages suicide or any other type of self-injury, including self-mutilation and eating disorders,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Global News. “As outlined in our Community Standards, we don’t allow the promotion of self-injury and will remove it when we’re made aware of it.”
Facebook has removed content from its site as well as from Instagram, which it purchased in 2012.
The Tide Pod Challenge is a bizarre trend among teens in which they record videos of themselves biting into (and sometimes ingesting) the colourful laundry detergent packets. The increase in popularity of these videos — the American Association of Poison Control Centers says they received 39 phone calls regarding ingestion of the detergent packs in the first 15 days of 2018 — prompted the association to issue a warning on Jan. 16.
“The ‘laundry packet challenge’ is neither funny nor without serious health implications,” Stephen Kaminski, the association’s executive director, said in the statement. “The intentional misuse of these products poses a real threat to the health of individuals. We have seen a large spike in single-load laundry packet exposures among teenagers since these videos have been uploaded.”
WATCH BELOW: Canadian police officer tells Tide pod challengers what they can and cannot eat
Tide parent company P&G has also issued a statement saying it is “deeply concerned about conversations related to intentional and improper use of liquid laundry pacs.” The company has recently enlisted NFL star Rob Gronkowski to appear in a company-sponsored video to deter teens from eating the detergent packets.
In the video, Gronkowski urges people to use Tide laundry pacs “for washing, not eating.” The video was posted to Twitter on Jan. 12 and has received more than 60,000 retweets and 125,000 likes.
If you or someone you know has ingested a poisonous substance, call 911 or your provincial poison control centre.
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