Idiotic social media challenge emerges
THERE have been some idiotic social media challenges in the past but this one surely takes the cake.
The so-called "Tide Pod Challenge" which involves putting liquid washing detergent in your mouth has begun circulating on social media in recent days and could be extremely harmful, authorities warn.
Teenagers, mostly in the United States, have been posting videos of themselves chewing and gagging on the small, colourful detergent packets and daring others to follow suit.
The product contains ethanol, polymers and hydrogen peroxide which are extremely toxic and can make people very sick if consumed.
The challenge appears to have originated as a joke in an article on satirical news site, The Onion. But it has since evolved into an internet challenge which has attracted some less than discerning participants.
According to CBS, there has been at least 10 deaths linked to people ingesting the pods, not related to the challenge. Two were toddlers and the other eight were elderly people with dementia.
YouTube has already begun removing videos from its platform showing users participating in the challenge.
The bizarre behaviour has also forced a statement from the maker of the detergent product, Procter & Gamble.
"They should not be played with … Even if meant as a joke. Safety is no laughing matter," the company said.