Facts about the Internet, with a focus on the work of researchers who study the spread of dangerous trends and misinformation, argue that trying to discourage bad behavior, if handled clumsily About can reinforce bad behavior by amplifying it to people they would never have thought of. it.
Leads us to Chicken NyQuil.
In recent weeks, several people on TikTok, Twitter and other sites have discovered age-old videos and photos of people pouring blue NyQuil, a nighttime cold medicine, onto chicken breasts in a pan. or pot. Obviously this is a dangerous idea that no one should do – it can lead to the consumption of the product at unsafe levels and over-the-counter medications should only be used as directed.
But it’s not clear if people actually try it on their own in significant quantities; most people commenting either expressed horror at the concept or made jokes about it. There have been no reports of hospitalizations or deaths related to chicken NyQuil, a tongue-in-cheek recipe that first appeared on the infamous 4chan forum in 2017 and also received a attention spike In January.
However, fresh waves of concern in recent weeks have drawn the attention of the Food and Drug Administration, which issues a face-to-face announcement on September 15 advises against participating in what it calls “a recent social media video challenge”.
“The challenge sounds silly and unappealing – and it is,” the agency warned. “But it can also be very unsafe.”
The spread of misinformation and misinformation
It lays out the science behind why it’s dangerous, concluding that “someone can take dangerously high amounts of cough and cold medicine without even realizing it”.
The FDA warning directly drew new attention to this dangerous dish. The next day, several television stations reported on the FDA’s advice, repeating the assertion that a dangerous trend was breaking out. In the days that followed, some of the nation’s largest media organizations followed.
And on Tuesday, it was a trending topic on Twitter, with reaction videos going viral on TikTok and links to numerous articles on Facebook.
The whole incident left NyQuil, produced by Procter & Gamble, on the defensive. In response to people on Twitter who seem to take this concept, also known as sleepy chicken, as a joke, Company Twitter account urged people not to try the formula, claiming, “We do not endorse the use of our product as inappropriate.”
Based on Know your Meme, a website that documents the origins of internet phenomena, the first known reference to chicken NyQuil came when someone documented their apparent cooking experience in 2017 on 4chan, a regular bulletin board. malicious where trolls are common and few things have to be taken too seriously. Several others on YouTube and TikTok filmed stunts in the following years.
Janet Yang, a professor of communications at the State University of New York at Buffalo, first heard of the NyQuil chicken after being contacted by The New York Times on Wednesday. The amount of coverage may inadvertently lead many people to think they should pay attention to the issue and divert attention away from more immediate health threats, such as Covid-19 and smallpox, she said. in monkeys.
“Once it has a certain level of volume or attention, you’re essentially making it more of a reality than reality,” says Professor Yang.
Corey Hannah Basch, a professor of public health at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ, said the FDA warning is unlikely to reach teens because of this behavior and is written “more clearly” as a word. Warning for parents.
“The FDA has taken a certain step to raise awareness, but is it going too far to be useful at this point?” Professor Basch said. “Most likely because it just makes a lot of people think about something they didn’t think of before.”
It’s unclear how many more people have tried it because of the recent attention. On Twitter, most of the images being shared in recent days are taken from a small number of videos taken many years ago. On TikTok, searches for #nyquilchicken, before the app limited access to that content, showed that most newcomers reacted to videos of the same age.
The FDA did not immediately respond to questions about what issued the warning or whether the agency had received reports of people falling ill as a result of the practice.
On some of the most popular reaction videos, TikTok added a warning: “Participating in this activity may cause injury to you or others.”
“Content that incites dangerous behavior has no place on TikTok,” a TikTok representative said in an email. “This content is not trending on our platform, but we will remove the content if discovered and strongly encourage anyone to engage in behavior that could harm themselves or others. “
In a grim precedent, some people actually ate a package of laundry detergent in 2018 after a similar “challenge” based on the Tide shell is done. And the FDA cited “The Benadryl Challenge“Since 2020 has caused at least one teenager died.
But no, despite the annual newsletter, people don’t put razor blades or THC in Halloween candy.