But the Oribellyohhs YouTube channel is facing plenty of heat as the family, including two young children, pretend to eat Tide Pods.
In the video posted Sunday, the family of four sits at their kitchen table and explains why they’re going to eat the laundry detergent. They pop them in their mouths but reveal seconds later that the Pods aren’t real. Instead, the realistic lookalikes are made of edible ingredients.
It’s not difficult to see why people would be steamed. Primarily, it’s the clickbait headline of “Family Eats Tide Pods Challenge.” Clearly, it worked, because a YouTube channel that has 558 subscribers racked up more than 116,000 views at the time of this writing.
It’s also not great that the father, while referring to the warning on the packaging that implores customers not to eat the Pods, says, “Maybe they’re afraid we might get superpowers or something.” If you’re a child of, say, 6 years old watching this video without parental supervision and an adult mentions eating a candy-like item to gain superpowers, that suggestion might make sense.
Still, as the Oribello’s older child says once the experiment has been revealed, “We’re a funny family, but we’re not stupid.”
That hasn’t stopped the online scorn, likely caused by popular YouTuber Keemstar’s tweet.
And the Parents of the year award goes to …. pic.twitter.com/2QuMYHAo7H
— KEEM 🍿 (@KEEMSTAR) January 22, 2018
The backlash, though, doesn’t seem to have bothered Damon, the father. In fact, he theorizes that it’s helped his channel.
Neither the Oribello family nor YouTube responded to a Daily Dot request for comment. But the family explained its reasoning in the video’s description, writing that it posted the video “to create awareness of the generations that ARE trying to eat this stuff, for fun or for whatever reason.”
Wrote the Oribellos: “We are afraid for the young kids that really may think that these pods look like candy and now they have adults creating videos showing themselves eating them. Parents should always keep their cleaning agents locked up, far out of reach from children and apparently from older children and adults, considering the ages have varied in this so called ‘Tide Pod Challenge.’”
Yet, more than 3,000 people have disliked the video, compared to 1,000 who have given their virtual thumbs-up.
YouTube said last week it would take down videos of the Tide Pod Challenge because its community guidelines “prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm.”
Procter & Gamble, which makes the Tide products, said it was working with social media sites to delete the potentially harmful content, and Tide is trying its hardest to convince people not to eat the Pods.
What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.
— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018
How potentially harmful are these videos? According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), poison control centers have had to handle 39 intentional exposure cases from people ranging in age from 13-19 in the first 15 days of 2018 (ingestion accounts for 91 percent of those exposures). In all of 2016, that number was 39 for the same age bracket, and in 2017, poison control centers dealt with 53 all year.
“The ‘laundry packet challenge’ is neither funny nor without serious health implications,” Stephen Kaminski, AAPCC’s CEO and executive director, said in a statement. “The intentional misuse of these products poses a real threat to the health of individuals. We have seen a large spike in single-load laundry packet exposures among teenagers since these videos have been uploaded.”
Even if the meme hasn’t turned into a teen trend, YouTube is trying to clean up those Tide Pod Challenge videos that show somebody trying to eat a whole Tide Pod.
In the Oribellyohhs video, the parents, Damon and Kari, ask their young children what they know about the Tide Pod Challenge and then, after about a minute of debate, they all stick the objects in their mouths.
“They’re squishy, Dad,” one of the children exclaims.
Turns out, of course, they’re not really eating the Tide Pods. Instead, they just look like the poisonous object, and the family shows you how they made edible Tide Pods with rice paper, frosting, and food coloring.
It also sounds like the Oribellyohhs channel hasn’t finished the discussion of Tide Pods.
As the family wrote, “We’re YouTube video makers and absolutely are always looking to SHOCK the world. It was always our intention to make a follow-up video to AWE the world following the SHOCK, so to speak. Look for that soon.”