Seemingly following in the footsteps of the Tide Pod Generation, a new trend on TikTok involves individuals consuming the cellophane wrapping that comes with Fruit Roll-Ups.
The fad was serious enough that the company behind the fruit-flavored snack rolls posted a video on the app entitled, “Fruit Roll-Ups Warns TikTokers Against Eating Plastic Wrap as Part of Trend as Lawmakers Debate Banning App.”
A representative from Fruit Roll-Ups shared a video clip featuring a woman who claimed to be consuming the plastic wrapping from the snack. The representative from Fruit Roll-Ups tried to replicate the experiment in the original video to show TikTok users the woman was not consuming the plastic.
The comments from the original video of the woman claiming to consume the plastic were full of skepticism, as many people didn’t believe the woman was consuming the non-edible plastic wrapping.
One comment read, “She’s removing the plastic and rerolling them because it’s going viral. It’s all for engagement.”
Another said, “I swear she’s literally just resealed it after removing the plastic.”
This controversy arrives as TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew faced a five-hour-long hearing in front of Congress to discuss the app’s potential threat to US national security. During the hearing, Chew faced extensive questioning regarding the app’s addictive features and hazardous posts that could harm children, as well as the possibility of US user data being acquired by the Chinese government.
During the hearing, congresswoman Nanette Barragán (D-CA) inquired whether Mr. Chew’s children use TikTok. He responded that they do not, as they reside in Singapore, where the app’s version for children under 13 is not accessible.
Throughout the hearing, Mr. Chew repeatedly referred to “Project Texas,” a proposition to store all data in the US under the supervision of the American corporation Oracle, but Project Texas has yet to be fully implemented. Currently, Mr. Chew acknowledged that ByteDance engineers, TikTok’s parent company, have access to data.
Rep. Gallagher: "Project Texas doesn't address the core issue, which is control of the algorithm. So long as ByteDance, which owns TikTok & is controlled by the CCP, controls the algorithm, they can use the app to spread disinfo, influence what news we see & influence elections." pic.twitter.com/OQI0ZCmvgh
— Rep. Gallagher Press Office (@RepGallagher) March 24, 2023
Chew justified the access by saying, “We rely on global interoperability. Chinese engineers have access to data.”
TikTok claims that around 150 million Americans use the app, and Chew refuted allegations that TikTok shares data with the Chinese Communist Party. However, he admitted that some US data could currently be accessed by employees in China but reassured that measures are being taken to address the issue.