YouTube, Facebook Work to Remove ‘Tide Pod Challenge' Videos

Tide Pods are highly concentrated packs of laundry detergent that can cause "explosive" diarrhea if ingested

Social media platforms are working to remove videos that show people participating in the so-called "Tide Pod Challenge," according to multiple reports.

The "challenge" includes eating Tide detergent packs, and it seems to have started as online satire. But videos and photos of people supposedly eating the toxic cleaners for real soon became a social media trend. As a result, Facebook and YouTube said this week they are taking down posts that show the dangerous "challenge."

"YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm," the company said in a statement obtained by NBC. "We work to quickly remove flagged videos that violate our policies."

YouTube added that the company has been removing harmful videos like those that show the "challenge" before this week and that its rules have long prohibited harmful content.

Facebook also removed videos from its platforms, including Instagram, saying in a statement to CNN, "We don't allow the promotion of self-injury and will remove it when we're made aware of it."

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The responses come as Procter and Gamble, the parent company of Tide, urged social media giants to remove the "harmful content."

"We are deeply concerned about conversations related to intentional and improper use of liquid laundry pacs and have been working with leading social media networks to remove harmful content that is not consistent with their policies," spokesperson Petra Renck told HuffPost.

Tide Pods are highly concentrated packs of laundry detergent. Ingesting the product can burn your gums, inner cheeks, esophagus, stomach and more, according to Consumer Reports. It will also cause "explosive" diarrhea.

The videos prompted Tide to respond with its own Twitter video, starring Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

"No, no, no," the football player says in the video. "What the heck is going on people? Use Tide Pods for washing, not eating. Do not eat."

One user even left a comment on the video claiming to have eaten a pack and asking what to do. Tide advised the user to call a doctor or local poison control center, as well as the company, "so we can find out how you're doing."

Overall exposure to detergent pods had seemed to be going down, the Washington Post reported. Data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers shows that there were 12,299 calls to poison control centers in 2017 due to exposure to pods. That's down from more than 14,000 in 2015.

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