Q: What is the media being blamed for today and is this justified?
‘Neknominate’, a deadly online drinking game that’s believed to originate in Australia in early 2014. It involves a participate filming themselves downing large quantities of a drink (usually alcoholic) and uploading it on Facebook or Youtube, then nominating a friend to outdo the previous. However the ‘social media fad’ has become extreme with beverages containing cleaning supplies, engine oil, toilet water, dog food and even insects, dead mice and goldfish; combined with alcohol. This deadly drinking game has resulted in 5 deaths over the past month and a severe case of a 9 year old girl having her stomach pumped due to drinking a mixture of orange juice, vodka and whiskey after her friends encouraged her after viewing the videos on Facebook.
– A report from A Current Affair.
Politicians and authorities have begun to worry as the craze has spread worldwide.
“The Facebook drinking game ‘Neknomination’ has gone viral, and sadly young people have died as a result,” says UK opposition spokesman Diana Johnson. Parents have started to take a shot at the major social media sites stating, ‘‘It is absolutely shocking. I don’t agree with the craze or Facebook allowing them to be posted at all’.
Facebook has released a statement replying:
‘”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.”
My opinion: I believe that both sides are at fault. Yes, the game is spreading due to social media but it was initially created by us. Even though Facebook’s statement is correct the fact that they aren’t doing anything about the viral videos is alarming as they are allowing it spread further, endangering the lives of its young users. BUT blaming Facebook and YouTube don’t excuse the recklessness of the participants. The 9 year old girls’ mother blames Facebook, but why was a 9 year old on Facebook in the first place? Isn’t the minimum age 13? Thus both parties need to take blame.
– Linh Hoang
- Philipson, Alice, Apr 1st 2014. ‘Neknominate: Girl, nine, becomes youngest victim of drinking craze’ on The Telegraph- Health News. Viewed on 3/4/14. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10736072/NekNominate-girl-nine-becomes-youngest-victim-of-drinking-craze.html
- Wilkinson. P and Soares. I, Feb 18th 2014. ‘Neknominate: ‘Lethal’ drinking game sweeps social media’ on Internation Edition CNN. Viewed on 3/4/14. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/18/world/europe/neknominate-drinking-game/
- Brown Larisa, Apr 1st, 2014. ‘Mother of girl involved in Neknominate drinking game that left nine-year-old in hospital blames Facebook and demands site take down videos that show the stunt’ on Mail Online News. Viewed on 3/4/14. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2594673/Mother-girl-Neknominate-drinking-stunt-blames-Facebook.html
- News Corp Australia, Feb 17th 2014. ‘Bradley Eames, 20, from Nottingham, fifth person to die from Neknominate craze” on World News. Viewed on 3/4/14.http://www.news.com.au/world/bradley-eames-20-from-nottingham-latest-neknominate-victim-after-online-gin-binge/story-fndir2ev-1226828905592