YouTube cracks down on Tide Pod Challenge videos

YouTube cracks down on Tide Pod Challenge videos

One of the most mystifying social-media crazes of recent times may be coming to a swift end: YouTube has started removing Tide Pod Challenge videos from its service.

The challenge had seen people eating ‘Tide Pods’ – a particular brand of detergent capsules used in washing machines – despite the fact that the contents are potentially poisonous to humans.

Washed out

Now the videos are being removed from YouTube, which issued a statement explaining its reasoning:

“YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm. We work to quickly remove flagged videos that violate our policies.”

There’s some more context here. Procter & Gamble, which owns the Tide brand – and whose clout as an online advertiser is significant – had already said that it was pressing social platforms to remove the videos.

“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,” a spokesperson told Time.

Tide has also been doing its bit to stem the challenge, including roping in NFL star Rob Gronkowski last week to deliver a warning to anyone considering joining the challenge:

The videos may be down, but the edible Tide Pods meme may yet have some life in it: there are already Tide Pod pizzas and Tide Pod donuts doing the rounds on social networks. And at least they won’t poison you.

Contributing Editor

Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)