Packets of Tide Pod laundry detergent. PHOTO | COURTESYPackets of Tide Pod laundry detergent. PHOTO | COURTESY
By HILARY KIMUYU and AGENCIES

Facebook and YouTube have embarked on the removal of videos circulating on social media showing children biting into brightly colored liquid laundry detergent packets.

The game, dubbed the Tide Pod Challenge, shows teenagers also cooking them in frying pans, then chewing them up before spewing the soap from their mouths.

Both company’s say they are trying to stop the spread of the challenge terming it a bizarre and dangerous phenomenon in which users eat laundry detergents packets on camera.

YouTube, says it’s taking down clips that show people taking bites of the pods. The videos have become an online craze among teenagers, prompting widespread health and safety warnings.

“YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

NOT FOR CONSUMPTION

Facebook has also removed posts from its platforms, including Instagram. A company spokesperson told CNNMoney that “we don’t allow the promotion of self-injury and will remove it when we’re made aware of it.”

In recent weeks, the #TidePodChallenge hashtag has exploded, leading the American Association of Poison Control Centers to issue an alert.

Google says that in addition to removing the videos, users who post clips of themselves or others doing the Tide Pod Challenge will be given a strike on their YouTube channels for violating content rules.

Tide Pods are described by their maker as “small but powerful” alternatives to traditional laundry detergent that qualify as “more than just a liquid in a pouch.”

They are squishy little soap nuggets, which come in a small pouch that contains brightly colored liquid, which if sniffed, display floral, chemical-scented bubble bath. Comparisons between the pods and pieces of candy abound.

But Tide Pods are also predictably poisonous to the human body and not intended for consumption.

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