The "eating Tide Pods" meme continues to be one of the more baffling parts of 2018 — which is impressive since we're just four weeks into the year — but the ramifications of the meme continue to rise. Earlier this week, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) released another alert warning consumers not to eat the pods. The number of reported cases of teenagers intentionally eating the laundry detergent-filled gel capsules this year has more than doubled, from 39 incidents on January 16th to 86 as of January 22nd.
The AAPCC recorded 39 cases of teenagers intentionally eating the pods in the entirety of 2016, and 53 cases in 2017. That number continues to rise despite efforts from companies like YouTube and Amazon, which have taken steps to remove harmful Tide Pod content from their sites.
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YouTube has already committed to taking down any videos of people eating the pods, which it views as a violation of its Community Guidelines.
Amazon said in a comment to Motherboard last week that it would be removing Tide Pod reviews advocating that people eat the pods, noting that "customer safety is of the utmost importance and we suppress Customer Reviews or other content that encourages physical harm." However, a cursory look at Tide Pods on the popular online site shows that several reviews are still online, as are multiple user-submitted questions in the "customer questions & answers" regarding the flavor and taste of the Pods.
Again, I cannot believe I have to write this out, but: do not eat Tide Pods. They are literal poison.