YouTube is trying to shut down the latest viral internet challenge, you know, the one where actual humans eat (or pretend to eat) Tide Pods, which are quite literally pods filled with Tide laundry detergent.
The discussion on consuming Tide Pods started on Twitter in December, transforming into a viral meme and making its way to YouTube.
While it might be fun to joke about eating one of the pods, ingesting the detergent can lead to health problems or even kill you, and videos making light of the action have the potential to influence others who might not know better to actually eat one.
The trend has gone so far that some stores are taking steps to lock Tide Pods up.
A YouTube spokesperson noted that the removal of videos isn’t a policy change, rather, a continuation of ensuring flagged content on the platform doesn’t present danger to viewers.
“YouTube’s prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm,” the spokesperson told Mashable. “We work to quickly remove flagged videos that violate our policies.”
A search for “Tide Pod Challenge” still turned up a significant amount of results, and when asked YouTube did not comment on the specific videos or quantity that has been removed thus far.
According to Fast Company, YouTube’s decision to monitor Tide Pod Challenge videos could have to do with pressure from its parent company, Procter & Gamble.
In a statement to Time, a spokesperson for Procter & Gamble said the following:
“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.
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.”
I can’t believe we’re having this discussion, but REMEMBER: No matter how tasty those brightly colored Tide Pods might look, please just don’t eat them. Painting with them is fair game, though.