This local bar made a 'Tide Pod Challenge' shot and Facebook censored it
Updated Jan 22, 1:43 PM; Posted Jan 22, 12:31 PM
After reports that teenagers have been eating Tide's brightly colored laundry detergent packets as part of a social media phenomenon, the South Bethlehem bar was inspired last week to serve a Tide Pod shot, mimicking the distinctive white, orange and blue pattern.
Instead of detergent, the shot ($4) features Bailey's Irish Cream, vodka dyed orange with food coloring and blue Curacao, a citrus liqueur.
A picture of the drink at Molly's went viral on Friday, and manager Mary Fleming said the bar has sold hundreds of the shots since first introducing them as a special for Thursday night trivia. But not everyone has been raising a toast.
In response to the health issues that eating the Tide Pods can cause, Facebook has committed to removing posts that encourage the trend. Manager Mary Fleming said that while most of the social media response was positive, other Facebook users complained -- and two posts about the shot have since been taken down by the site.
The bar has sidestepped the restrictions by posting about a "special shot" with a strikethrough sign over it. They've dubbed it "the shot banned by Facebook."
"The more controversy that went on, the more popular it got," Fleming said. "They can hate on it all they want."
Molly's isn't the only establishment to serve a Tide pod shot in response to the internet trend, but a picture of the bar's concoction has been shared by online giants like BroBible and Ebaum's World.
The Tide Pod Challenge was born out of a tongue-in-cheek internet meme -- people would joke about the pods' candy-like colors appearing oddly appetizing. But that eventually took a more dangerous turn, with reports of young people daring each other to actually consume the packets.
Ingesting the pods can cause serious health issues -- a college student in Utah was reportedly hospitalized after eating one. The New York Times reported that in the first half of January, poison control centers found that 39 teenagers had been "intentionally exposed to the detergent packets" in the first half of January, as many as in the entirety of 2016.
To stem the spread of the trend, YouTube and Facebook have said they will take down any videos of people eating the pods. Tide, for its part, released a warning in an online video featuring New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
While the craze reached new heights this year, fear about Tide pods' mouthwatering appearance isn't an entirely new phenomenon. Back in 2012, United States Senator Chuck Schumer had been tempted to scarf down one of the packets, saying, "I saw one on my staffer's desk and I wanted to eat it."