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Hey, “Tide Pod challenge” people, YouTube has had it with you

Hey, “Tide Pod challenge” people, YouTube has had it with you
[Photo: Flickr user Austin Kirk]

Well, here’s a sentence I never thought I’d have to write: YouTube has released a statement in response to a viral trend in which people are posting videos of themselves purposely ingesting laundry detergent. The so-called “Tide Pod challenge,” which reportedly began as a joke, has become enough of a thing that it has garnered responses from a government watchdog, poison control centers, and Tide’s parent company, Procter & Gamble. Now YouTube is weighing in too:

“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.”

In an earlier statement of its own, P&G said it was working with “leading social media sites” to encourage the removal of videos that violate their polices. Considering YouTube’s aforementioned stance, videos featuring people biting into potentially poisonous laundry pods would certainly fit into that category.

YouTube typically removes offending videos only after they’ve been flagged by users, and it’s been doing that in this case. People posting videos of themselves taking the challenge also risk having their YouTube channels terminated completely, thanks to YouTube’s strike system.

YouTube does, of course, make exceptions for content that discusses the “Tide Pod challenge” in a news setting, like this article, which, it bears repeating, I never thought I’d have to write.

CZ