Apparently the whole thing started as a harmless bit of fun on Facebook, but now “NekNomination” has become the latest and most dangerous craze on social media. Some people are dying because of it and others are getting very concerned that things may be spiraling out of control.
Basically, the name of the game is that people video themselves downing an alcoholic beverage. They post the video on Facebook, and “NekNominate” a friend, who must then do something similar, but preferably in a more daring way, and post a video online. The game apparently started in Perth, Australia but, as things do on the Internet, is now becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
The “NekNominate New Zealand” Facebook page gives the basic rules and regulations for the activities:
“Neck your drink. Nominate another. Don’t break the chain, don’t be a dick. The social drinking game for social media! #neknominate. Drink Responsibly.”
However, it seems people have forgotten the “Drink Responsibly” section of that statement. Pure peer pressure is pushing people to do some really stupid things.
Reports are that people have been filmed downing entire bottles of bourbon or vodka, literally pouring it down their throats. They then attempt dangerous feats while under the influence of so much alcohol.
Another video reportedly shows a man pouring beer into a toilet. The same man is then shown, held upside down by his pals, drinking the beer from the toilet bowl. Yet another allegedly shows a man drinking a pint of WD40 lubricant (not even an alcoholic beverage).
However, the latest and most worrying news is that the further down the “Neknomination” chain on Facebook the participants go, the more dangerous the craze is getting, and now people have allegedly died because of it.
Police in Ireland are currently investigating two deaths over the weekend which they say are allegedly directly connected to the phenomenon. First there was a DJ in Dublin, Ross Cummings, who allegedly died in his sleep after taking part in a “NekNomination” video. The day after that, 19 year old Jonny Byrne from County Carlow in Ireland, died after jumping into the River Barrow under the influence of alcohol and peer pressure. Apparently his brother, Pat, unsuccessfully attempted to save him and had to watch his brother drown before his eyes.
In another Irish example, a High Court judge has stated that if these drinking contests continue, this will result in a “tsunami” of homicide and rape prosecutions before his court.
Justice Paul Carney spoke as he was in the process of sentencing a 38 year old Waterford man who raped a woman after drinking around six to seven pints of Budweiser while partaking in a “NekNomination.” According to the judge, the married father of two children received an eight-year jail sentence, with the final three years suspended, and is now a registered sex offender.
While the Northern Ireland “NekNomination” page has been suspended, there are more pages cropping up all over the social media website every day.
The following video is an example of the practice and may contain strong language:
On a brighter note, it seems a South African did a different take on the whole “NekNomination” idea. When he received a nomination, he decided to do things differently, by not bothering to get drunk at all. On the contrary, Brent Lindesque took a video of himself handing out a snacks, a sandwich and a can of cool drink to a man begging for work at a local Johannesburg traffic junction.
Lindesque told the South African media that there are many South Africans trying to survive on less than £1.20 ($1.96) a day and he preferred to make something positive out of the growing Internet phenomena. In the video below, Lindesque then nominates two friends to do something similar in the next 24 hours:
So at least there is one bright spark in a worrying new spiral of craziness that is “NekNomination.” However, what is becoming the latest and most dangerous craze for some on Facebook is causing great concern to others.
By Anne Sewell