Over the last few years, Facebook has become a social media giant. Millions from all over the world log in every day to chat, post feelings, and find people they have lost. Most of this activity is harmless. However, a deadlier part of Facebook has come to light in the format of a fast growing drinking game.
The deadly drinking game is called “Neknominate.” Though its popularity has not reached American soil yet, it is quickly gaining speed in other parts of the world. The game began in Australia, but has recently taken the UK by storm. The rules of the game are simple. A person will drink a large concoction of alcohol, film it, and post it to Facebook. Once the video is posted, the person will nominate the next player who has to beat them. Individuals who do not step up to the challenge experience insults and slandering on Facebook and other social outlets.
In theory the game seems harmless enough. In fact, at the start of this trend, it was a very innocent game. Men would drink a few shots of hard liquor or a few beers and challenge a friend to drink more. Women would often go to a public place, like a supermarket. They would then drink something there while dressed in scandalous clothes, and challenge the next person to take it a step further.
Slowly but surely, the game has progressed. Now the videos posted on Facebook of individuals playing the game have begun in part to have deadly results. Participants have started taking the game to its extreme limits. Substances that are not even alcohol have been added to spice up the difficulty of the game. People have drunk motor oil, as well as swallowed live goldfish. One participant even blended a dead mouse in to their drink before they drank it. The where of the game has also become more risky. Participants have been known to drink out of public toilets as part of a challenge. As this game has spun out of control, people have begun to get sick. Four participants in Neknomination have even died as a result of the game. These numbers can only increase as the challenges become more extreme.
Many parents and concerned citizens have gone to Facebook in an attempt to stop this deadly game from gaining more popularity. Their reasoning is sound. If Facebook stops allowing the Neknomination videos on its site, people will begin to stop playing it. The strongest motivations for the game are socially driven. Individuals participate in order to show how extreme they can be, and to get the chance to nominate someone else to play. Also, many play out of fear that they will be ridiculed and bullied if they do not participate. If these videos were no longer shown, these motivations would not exist.
Facebook has come out and said that the game does not violate any of its rules. They refuse to show content that is directly harmful to a user, but allow content that may be offensive or controversial to some. As of now, Facebook has no problem selling their advertisements right alongside these deadly videos.
Soon, Neknominating will reach the states. When it does, the millions of Americans on Facebook will be subject to take part in this deadly drinking game. If the death toll rises, Facebook will be forced to recognize the game they call offensive as a subtle attempt to harm someone else. The question is, how many people will have to die before that decision is made.
By Chris Chisam