If you’ve been anywhere near social media, local news, or late-night talk shows over the past few days, you’ve probably heard something about it. a supposed viral TikTok “challenge” is exactly what it sounds like: cooking chicken in a cold medicinal marinade.
News of the supposed trend is often accompanied by nauseating photos of raw chicken boiled in dark green syrup. It is both disgusting and, as the FDA recently reminded the public, as toxic as it looks. But it turns out that Nyquil Chicken isn’t new, nor is it particularly viral, and the FDA’s oddly-timed warning may have backfired, making the meme more popular than ever.
First, a little history: As reporter Ryan Borderick in his newsletter Trash dayNyquil Chicken originated as a joke on 4Chan in 2017. Brief meme in January, where it gained some traction on TikTok before disappearing again.
Then, last week, the FDA – inexplicably – issued warning about the dangers of cooking chicken in Nyquil. In an announcement titled “A Formula for Danger: Drug-Related Social Media Challenges,” the FDA refers to it as a “recent” trend. But they cite no recent examples, and it’s unclear why they chose to issue the warning more than eight months after the meme first appeared on TikTok.
Now, with what we can only hope will be a valuable lesson in unintended consequences, we know it’s very likely that the FDA warning about Nyquil chicken has pushed this “challenge” up. new level of virality, at least on TikTok. TikTok has now confirmed that on September 14, the day before the FDA announcement, there was only five search for “Chicken Nyquil” in the app. But by September 21, that number had spiked “more than 1,400 times,” News about BuzzFeedFirst report on TikTok search data.
TikTok, recently To limit the spread of both the dangerous “challenge” and the “alarm alert” of the hoax, searches are currently blocked for “Nyquil Chicken”. Searches currently direct users to resources that encourage users to “stop and take a moment to think” before pursuing a potentially dangerous “challenge.”
Like both BuzzFeed and Gizmodo , there is little evidence that people are actually cooking chicken in Nyquil, much less actually eating it. That’s a good thing because, as the FDA has made it very clear, doing so is not only extremely rude but also very toxic. But the whole thing is not yet about why we should all be more skeptical of the “challenges” of the virus causing panic.
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