#BBCtrending: The backlash against 'Neknominations'

  • 3 February 2014
A man drinking a pint

In the Irish Republic, social media has been blamed for the death of at least one young man who played an internet drinking game. But now videos criticising "Neknominations" are trending.

The drinking culture in Ireland has been both condemned and romanticised for decades. But the terrible consequences of a new social media drinking game are making people sit up and take notice of the country's relationship with alcohol.

"Neknominate", also known as "neck and nominate", involves young people "downing" alcoholic drinks and then nominating someone else to out-drink them. The activities are filmed and posted to social media sites. It's widely reported that the trend started in Australia, although there are claims that a less extreme version originated in the UK among university students.

The craze appears to have taken off in the Republic of Ireland in January, with Facebook pages dedicated to it getting thousands of likes. But then tragedy struck. The death of a young man, whose family said he had played the game, has prompted concern about its impact. Two government ministers in Ireland have condemned the practice and question the role of social media platforms. It has also led to a public backlash against the trend.

Spoof videos are being posted and shared online as part of the call for an end to the practice. One video shows 22-year-old Eoin Healy, from County Wexford, accepting the challenge of a "Neknomination", but then opting to make a cup of tea instead. "I'm a local DJ and I've seen so many Neknominations that I thought something had to be done," Healy told BBC Trending. "I wanted to send out a message that wasn't too stern. Young people don't want to be preached to. Drink to enjoy, not destroy."

Healy's video was posted before the recent fatalities. It has since been "liked" more than 16,000 times. "The response to the video has been huge. Most of the reaction has been positive" he says. "But my video alone will not be enough to bring about change."

Reporting by Anne-Marie Tomchak

All our stories are at BBC.com/trending

Follow @BBCtrending on Twitter and tweet using #BBCtrending