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Amazon Reviews say you can eat Tide Pods

tide pods amazon reviewsAP/Pat

  • Numerous reviews on Amazon
    for Tide Pods reference a dangerous meme.
  • The meme references a popular laundry product and how
    it looks like candy.
  • The rise of the meme has coincided with incidents
    involving people intentionally ingesting Tide Pods, but the
    reviews have not been taken down yet.


Don’t eat the yellow snow — or the orange, white, and blue pods.

A viral meme referencing eating the laundry product Tide Pods has
exploded on the internet in recent weeks. The meme refers to the
pods as if they were a food item, like the snack known as Fruit
Gushers, and how they look like they should be edible.

It hasn’t stayed in the confined social media circles of Twitter
and Tumblr, as memes are wont to do, and has spilled over into
the world of online shopping. A search through
the product page
for Tide Pods on Amazon yields numerous joke
reviews and answers to customer questions that refer to the
laundry product as a healthy snack. 

Many of the joke responses on Amazon go back weeks. 

The joke’s start time is murky, but
a 2015 Onion article
 that satirizes media reports of
children ingesting the pods seems to be an early
origin. Tide maker Procter & Gamble responded by adding
a bitter agent to the pods and including an additional warning to
keep them out of the reach of children.

But, it’s harder to ward off young adults who should know better.

amazon tide pods reviewsAmazon

As recently as last year, a video from sketch
comedy site Collegehumor.com
also made light of the fact that
the pods look like a tempting candy. Later that year,
another article from the Onion
made a similar joke.

The meme has gained a higher profile in recent days as the joke
has gotten divorced from its origins and reinterpreted.
A report
from New York magazine’s viral tech vertical Select
All captured the trend at its “fever pitch” in December, but

Google Trends reports
show that it’s only grown in popularity
from there.

The “Tide Pod challenge” has gained popularity with teens posting
YouTube videos putting the product in their mouths, and it’s
blurring the line between fun and danger. Doctors are now warning
people not to eat the pods, no matter how appetizing they look,
as the chemicals inside are poisonous and could lead to diarrhea
and vomiting. The chemicals have been linked to at least 10
deaths among children and seniors. 

The American Association of Poison Control Centers said
40 cases of Tide Pod poisoning have been reported in 2018 so far,
with half of the cases involving pods that were “intentionally

It’s clear that the joke has gone too far at this point. It might
be obvious to the average Twitter or Tumblr user what is a joke
and what is not, but Amazon has a higher standard for reviews on
its product pages. Though the product’s description makes it
clear the product is not for eating, the reviews confusingly

Amazon is able to tightly control reviews. Take as an example the
controversial Michael Wolff book on President Trump, “Fire and
Fury.” Amazon
limited the ability to review
to only those verified to have
purchased the book, and removed any and all reviews not directly
related to the content.

The same has not been done for reviews recommending buyers poison

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

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