Doctors warn of dangers of online drinking game neknominate

Doctors warn of dangers of online drinking game neknominate

Posted: Updated:

(CNN) -- It begins with a nomination, from one internet user to another, to drink. But what started as a game, is now claiming lives.

Four victims, all men under 30, have died after playing the internet 'game' called neknominate. It's believed to have originated in Australia and is now in the United Kingdom and killed men in the Britain and Ireland.

The idea is that you nominate other internet users to 'nek', or down, a pint of alcoholic beverage, record yourself doing it, and then nominate others to get it do the same. The nominated person then has 24 hours to complete the task. If the nominated friend doesn't answer the challenge, they're ridiculed on social media.

Dr. Sarah Jarvis, is the Medical Advisor for Drinkaware, a British organization that provides alcohol education. She says the game has two side effects.

"This is a lethal game. The point about alcohol is that it affects your ability to recognize that you're in danger. And it absolutely affects your ability to react to danger, so we have a double whammy," Dr. Jarvis said.

With each nomination comes bigger and more dangerous challenges.

It started as exhibitionism, with a woman stripping to her underwear in a supermarket and downing the drink. As the cocktails intensified, so too did the challenges.

One video posted online mixes a dead mouse in th drink. Another shows a man drinking out of a toilet while his friends hold him up.

Now, many are calling on Facebook to help put a stop to it. In some of the videos posted to the social site, ads are displayed next to it. Brian Viner, whose young son played the game but drink water instead of vodka, says Facebook needs to take responsibility.

"When you heard about your son taking part in this game how did you feel?

"Crossed with him but more crossed with the social media involved and the way this game has just spread. The whole thing is madness and it needs some kind of sharp and swift action on the part of these social networks to stop it."

In a statement to CNN, Facebook said "We do not tolerate content which is directly harmful, for example bullying, but behavior which some people may find offensive or controversial is not always necessarily against our rules.

We encourage people to report things to us which they feel breaks our rules so we can review and take action on a case by case basis."

Dr. Jarvis says the social network can stop the game by recognizing its own role.

"It's very difficult in this day of personal liberties to say that Facebook shouldn't be condoning this or taking these videos offline. Personally, I would like to see that happen. Frankly, if the thrill wasn't there, your mates weren't seeing you and I expect it would very rapidly fizz out."

A fleeting craze or a long-term trend, this is a game where no one wins.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Norman warns residents about arsenic in the water

    Norman warns residents about arsenic in the water

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:31:08 GMT
    Folks who turn on the faucet in Norman now have another warning about arsenic in the water. The warnings are coming from this letter, sent to residents this week.Three wells exceeded the legal limit for arsenic, and had to be shut down.But Norman's director of utilities Ken Komiske says the city's water is safe to drink."We took care of it. We turned off these wells, they represent less than 2% of all the water we produce," Komiske said.While the problem is concerning, Komiske says the limits...
    Folks who turn on the faucet in Norman now have another warning about arsenic in the water. The warnings are coming from this letter, sent to residents this week.Three wells exceeded the legal limit for arsenic, and had to be shut down.But Norman's director of utilities Ken Komiske says the city's water is safe to drink."We took care of it. We turned off these wells, they represent less than 2% of all the water we produce," Komiske said.While the problem is concerning, Komiske says the limits...
  • Oklahoma City reverend questions Honest Tea's social experiment

    Oklahoma City reverend questions Honest Tea's social experiment

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:00:23 GMT
    Honest Tea's hashtag logo for their Honest Index Social Experiment. Honest Tea's hashtag logo for their Honest Index Social Experiment.
    A simple social experiment made its first stop in the metro Friday to find out if the city is honest.But one local pastor, Reverend Joelene Barber, wasn't happy it was held in her neighborhood.
    A simple social experiment made its first stop in the metro Friday to find out if the city is honest.But one local pastor, Reverend Joelene Barber, wasn't happy it was held in her neighborhood.
  • Storm shelter grant money available to some in Oklahoma

    Storm shelter grant money available to some in Oklahoma

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:39 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:39:19 GMT
    It's been a quiet storm season in the state, but Oklahomans know the next round could always be just around the corner .A storm shelter can offer piece of mind but it comes at a cost.
    It's been a quiet storm season in the state, but Oklahomans know the next round could always be just around the corner .A storm shelter can offer piece of mind but it comes at a cost.
ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.