Deadly online drinking game getting more popular - CBS46 News

Deadly online drinking game getting more popular

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Four young men have died playing a game where people use social media to dare others to drink more than them. (Source: Oakelfish/YouTube/CNN) Four young men have died playing a game where people use social media to dare others to drink more than them. (Source: Oakelfish/YouTube/CNN)

(CNN/YOUTUBE/FACEBOOK/UK PARLIAMENT TV) - An online game of drink and dare called Neknominate is fueling a deadly, worldwide craze.

The game that has claimed four victims already - all men younger than 30 years old - is thought to have started in Australia and is now sweeping through Great Britain.

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

The premise of the game is simple. People film themselves "neking" or downing a large amount of alcohol, sometimes mixed with other things.

They then post the videos on social media. After that, they nominate a friend to outdo them. If the nominees doesn't respond, they are ridiculed on Facebook walls or Twitter.

Each nomination becomes more and more daring and outlandish. One person mixed spirits with a dead mouse, among other things.

The trend has politicians calling for schools to play a bigger role.

Brian Viner, whose son has played the game, said responsibility must come from Facebook. The site still displays advertisements next to videos of people taking part in the challenges.

Viner said his son was nominated and pressured to play the game, but drank water instead of vodka so as not to harm himself.

"[I was] crossed with him but more crossed with the social media involved and the way this game has just spread," Viner said. "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."

Facebook released a statement to CNN that 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."

Jarvis said Facebook must recognize its own role in the game.

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

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