Tide Pod challenge: YouTube blocks videos after poisoning fears

Thursday, 18 Jan, 2018

"We work to quickly remove flagged videos that violate our policies", said a YouTube spokesperson.

But in the past month, people - often kids - have transitioned to actually eating them and posting videos to social media.

"YouTube's community guidelines prohibit content that's meant to encourage risky activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm".

The exterior wrapping of a Tide pod is made up of polyvinylalcohol (PVA), a water soluble plastic compound, which makes it dissolve in the machine washing laundry, but it can also dissolve in a person's mouth, which can cause to the release and absorption of the pod's contents.

YouTube says it will remove videos of people taking part in the "Tide Pod challenge", a unsafe craze proving popular in the US.

United States poison control centres received reports of more than 10,500 children younger than five being exposed to Tide Pods in 2016, according to the Washington Post.

In the past, warnings about misuse of laundry pods have been directed at those caring for toddlers, who have been known to mistake the brightly-coloured packets for candies.

Tide pods, the brand's version of the laundry detergent pods, are small, brightly-colored packets of detergent, created to dissolve while washing clothes.

People are eating laundry detergent pods as part of the Tide Pod Challenge and poisoning themselves.

Facebook is also removing videos from their own platform, and Instagram as well. The video was posted to Twitter on January 12 and has received more than 60,000 retweets and 125,000 likes.

In the past five years, eight people have died from eating laundry detergent pods, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The pods are bright and colorful and to children they can look like candy.

'They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance, even if meant as a joke, ' said Tide manufacturer Procter & Gamble. Like all household cleaning products, they must be used properly and stored safely'.

At the time of writing it's still possible to find Tide Pod Challenge videos on YouTube, though most of the videos being surfaced seem to be denouncing the stupidity of the "challenge" (even if they have clickbait-y titles that claim they're going to eat the pods - hey, savvy YouTubers know a good viral backlash bandwagon to jump on when they see one!).