“Chug” isn’t just a command young people are being told at parties anymore — they’re also reading it on social media.
A viral drinking game called NekNomination is quickly spreading across the social media world.
Participants are challenged to film themselves “necking” a large amount of alcohol, nominate others to outdo their stunt and then post a video on social media sites as proof.
One popular NekNomination video shows a young man flipped upside-down, drinking a toilet bowl-worth of alcohol. The video, which was posted on YouTube last month, received over 20,000 views.
But what started out as a seemingly fun drinking game has turned deadly which is causing groups to seek action from social media giants.
The Local Government Association, which represents more than 400 councils in England and Wales, is calling on Facebook and Twitter to post warning messages about the binge-drinking game on their sites.
“We are urging Facebook and Twitter executives to sit down with us and discuss a way forward which tackles this issue head on,” said Katie Hall, chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing board, in a Feb 22 news release.
Social media users have filmed themselves “consuming vast amounts of strong alcohol along with dog food, motor oil and even live goldfish as part of the craze,” according to the LGA.
“This is an utterly reckless and totally irresponsible craze that has tragically claimed lives” Hall said.
Several young people have died apparently after drinking in a NekNomination challenge, according to CNN and BBC reports.
Nineteen-year-old Jonny Byrne from Carlow, Ireland is a recent victim, his brother Patrick Byrne announced on his personal Facebook page.
Byrne posted a Facebook status on Feb. 1 telling his friends NekNomination “has to stop right now.”
“My young 19 year old brother Jonny Byrne from Carlow died tonight in the middle of his nomination,” Byrne wrote. “He thought he had to try and beat the competition after he necked his pint he jumped into the river. After 5 hours of searching he is still not found.”
Byrne’s body was recovered from the River Barrow in Carlow, Ireland, on Feb. 2, the Irish Mirror reported.
The Facebook status was shared nearly 25,000 times with people from across the world sending their condolences.
“It’s not a game anymore when a life is lost,” one Facebook user posted. “So sorry for your loss.”