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In Cyber Safety, In the News, Internet Safety Trends, Social Media

NekNomination ! Bullying, Peer Pressure and Death

what is neknomination

Neknomination is an online drinking game popular over social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. The game recently came into the public eye after the death of two young men in Northern Ireland as a result of participating in this online social media trend.

The Neknomination definition is basically someone filming himself or herself finishing off an entire bottle of hard strong liquor in one sitting and screaming another friend’s name at the end of the video daring them to do the same and so on, all happening under the hashtag #NekNominate. In this latest craze, which highlights the dangers of alcohol, – some people can be seen to drink multiple drinks and call out multiple friends names, sharing the video on social media adding peer pressure for their friends to copy or better the dare and pass it on to more people, adding to its viral growth in the past months.

Over the past two weeks, Two Irish teens had passed away as a direct result of participating in the game. Jonny Byrne was found dead after jumping into a river, being intoxicated behind consciousness while Ross Cummins, 22, was found dead after reportedly playing “Neknomination”.

According to the Telegraph, this original neknomination definition was originally created in Australia and gained traction when a Facebook page entitled “The Best Neknominate Videos” popularized the trend of chugging alcohol while performing various stunts and nominating others to do the same.

Facebook has, since then, announced shutting off the page, which had around 10,000 likes, following Byrne’s death.

According to several sources, one extreme video of the the phenomenon showed a man chugging a beer before biting the head off of an unplucked chicken and eating it.

Experts say that the danger of this trend stems from the fact that young males are often encouraged to participate out of peer pressure, being called “sissy” and “coward” when they refuse to take part in it. Reports have also come out saying the game is spreading like wildfire amongst college students in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa, even some students have gone to the point of interrupting lectures to chug down bottles of alcohol while another student films them. Youtube has gone to flag all NekNomination videos as “advisory content”, urging viewer discretion and more sane drinking choices.

One brave man from South Africa used the hashtag to spread a video of himself drinking a small bottle of beer but then asking others to do a good thing to others under the hashtag #OnlyGoodThings, the video has gained mass popularity over the weekend, surfacing as a cry for change and challenging the negative aspects of it.

One young lady took to a horse and walked into a Tesco superstore in England – recording the entire event and then posting it online for her friends. Not only is this instance being investigated by police, the days following this instance – national newspapers and websites ran the story with the young girls name and photos. Now checking out this lady in Google, as any future employer or college may do – brings this story up in advance of anything else she may have done or will do in the future. While she seems to believe her stunt was a harmless prank, sadly she will always been found online linked to this and have to carry this for many years to come.

Some stunts that have been completed as Neknominations include drinking alcohol from a toilet bowl, riding a horse into a superstore, drinking and driving, jumping from roofs after drinking, downing drinks and jumping into rivers. Sadly that last action resulted in the death of one of the two Irish men who passed away in January 2014 while completing a Neknomination dare. Two men in the UK died in the same period, also while attempting a Neknomination stunt.

What people do not seem to understand is that anything posted online may never disappear – and may always be linked to their name. This is something that young British sports start Ross Fawcett has to deal with in the future. His attempt at a Neknomination was drinking a beer while cycling his bike, but he fell off and caused some minor injuries to himself. Yet, he is a Triathlete hoping to represent his country someday, while risking his future on a Neknomation, now when anyone searches for his name online – they are presented with the video and story of how he fell while trying to complete his stunt. Something that will take many years to change on the internet, and will never go away.

In more recent videos people seem to be calling on multiple friends to complete a drinking dare and post it online, as opposed to the original version that called on one person. This is helping its viral growth spread even faster as new groups of friends become exposed to this.

If you find yourself the subject of a dare – the best advice is either to ignore it totally, to break the chain. Which may lead to some negative comments from “friends” but will also show strong character and gain respect from others. Secondly, record a silly Neknomination in return – for example dipping a biscuit into tea, or wearing your socks inside out. Posting a video like this could defuse any pressure from completing this craze, but do remember – anything you post online is unlikely to ever be removed and could always be visible when people search for you or your CV.

Watch more on Neknomination Definition

In recent news related to Neknomination, The Mirror reports that a young man who passed away after downing a bottle of vodka was nearly six times the drink and drive limit. It was reported in April that Stephen Brookes, aged 29, died after a friend filmed him drinking three-quarters of a large vodka bottle in a Neknominate challenge. The video was uploaded to youtube and removed later on.

In other related news, it was also reported that the very first RSPCA prosecution was underway in relation to Neknomination after one of the neknominaters swallowed a live goldfish on video. 

In early september 2014, a 16 year old teenager has been rescued from the Thames after he jumped in what is now perceived as a “dare from his mates”.

The 16-year-old  said he had been dared to jump in so his friends could upload video footage to YouTube in a “prank”.

One official said of this incident “Peer pressure can be a very powerful thing… it nearly cost a young man his life.” We certainly agree.

Another victim fell to the Neknomination trend as one man died from alcohol poisoning after downing a cocktail of spirits at a house party. Autopsy revealed that the victim, a 25 year old man, had five times the drink-drive limit of alcohol in his system.

As if Neknomination wasn’t enough, doctors all over Ireland and other countries are warning against another craze taking over lives of teens and youth. This “fainting game” or “pass out challenge” revolves around teens chocking themselves or asking a friend to press on their chest after hyperventilating to get a euphoric high. Teens and Youth, them, film the incident and post it on Youtube and nominate other friends to try the same challenge.  Not all victims survive this new form of Neknomination.

As a global movement against bullying and negative peer pressure, we encourage family members to have a conversation running with their teens and young people about the dangers of alcohol and drinking mass amounts of alcohol and doing extreme stunts that may endanger their lives.

Learn more about Bullying and Peer Pressure now and spread the word on what is a neknomination now!

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