If you’ve been anyplace close to social media, native information, or late-night speak exhibits in the previous few days, you’ve in all probability heard one thing about a supposedly viral TikTok “problem” that’s precisely what it appears like: cooking hen in a marinade of chilly drugs.
News in regards to the supposed pattern is often accompanied by vomit-inducing images of uncooked hen simmering in darkish inexperienced syrup. It’s each disgusting and, because the FDA not too long ago reminded the general public, simply as poisonous because it appears to be like. But it seems Nyquil Chicken was neither new, nor notably viral, and the FDA’s bizarrely-timed warning may have backfired, making the meme extra well-liked than ever.
First, a little bit of historical past: As reporter Ryan Borderick in his e-newsletter Garbage Day, Nyquil Chicken originated as a joke on 4Chan in 2017. The meme briefly in January the place it obtained some traction on TikTok earlier than as soon as once more fading away.
Then, final week, the FDA — inexplicably — issued a warning in regards to the risks of cooking hen in Nyquil. In a discover titled “A Recipe for Danger: Social Media Challenges Involving Medicines,” the FDA refers to it as a “latest” pattern. But they cite no latest examples, and it’s unclear why they opted to push out a warning greater than eight months after the meme had first appeared on TikTok.
Now, in what we are able to solely hope will probably be a beneficial lesson on unintended penalties, we all know that it was possible the FDA’s warning about Nyquil hen that pushed this “problem” to new ranges of virality, no less than on TikTok. TikTok has now confirmed that on September 14th, the day earlier than the FDA discover, there have been solely 5 searches for “Nyquil hen” within the app. But by September twenty first, that quantity skyrocketed “by greater than 1,400 instances,” BuzzFeed News, which first reported the TikTok search knowledge.
TikTok, which has not too long ago to restrict the unfold of each harmful “challenges” and “alarmist warnings” about hoaxes, is now blocking searches for “Nyquil Chicken.” Searches now direct customers to assets encouraging customers to “cease and take a second to suppose” earlier than pursuing a doubtlessly harmful “problem.”
As each BuzzFeed and Gizmodo , there’s little proof that persons are truly cooking hen in Nyquil, a lot much less truly ingesting it. That’s factor as a result of, because the FDA makes very clear, doing so shouldn’t be solely extraordinarily gross, however extremely poisonous. But the entire thing is but of why we should always all be extra skeptical of panic-inducing viral “challenges.”
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