Google and Facebook are cracking down on videos showing people participating in dangerous or harmful behaviour, with YouTube and the social platform removing any videos showing people participating in the ‘Tide Pod challenge’.
The viral challenge involves people biting into a Tide Pod – a liquid laundry pac designed to throw in a washing machine where it dissolves to wash clothes – and filming their reactions.
YouTube has confirmed it is removing videos showing the challenge.
“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 polices,” a spokesperson told nine.com.au.
When videos showing the Tide Pod challenge are flagged, the videos are removed and the channel hosting the video are given a strike for violating the platforms community guidelines.
However, videos discussing the challenge in a news setting or educational or documentary way are allowed and will not be removed.
Facebook has also moved to remove videos showing the dangerous challenge.
“Our Community Standards prohibit content that promotes or encourages suicide or any other type of self-injury, including self-mutilation and eating disorders. 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,” a Facebook spokesperson told nine.com.au.
Procter & Gamble, the parent company of laundry detergent brand Tide, have said they are “deeply concerned about conversations related to intentional and improper use of liquid laundry pacs”.
A spokesperson for the company told nine.com.au that it has been working “with leading social media networks to remove harmful content that is not consistent with their policies”.
“Laundry pacs are made to clean clothes. They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance, even if meant as a joke. Like all household cleaning products, they must be used properly and stored safely,” the statement said.
To deter people from producing the video, Procter & Gamble collaborated with Tide spokesperson American footballer Rob Gronkowski to create a safety message.
“We hope everyone takes this seriously: laundry pacs must only be used for their intended purposes,” P&G said.
“We also work with American Cleaning Institute, the industry association, to inform and provide assets to post-secondary education institutions to educate their students that laundry detergents should only be used to clean clothes.”
According to CBS, at least 10 deaths in the US have been linked to ingesting these pods unrelated to the challenge– two were toddlers while eight were seniors with dementia.
Tide is not widely available in Australia but the product in the challenge is similar to others available on Australian supermarket shelves.