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Neknominate needs health warnings on Twitter and Facebook, say councils

22/02/2014 20:56

Local Government Association calls on websites to highlight dangers of drinking game linked to several deaths.
Twitter and Facebook should introduce warnings about the drinking game neknominate, which has been linked to several deaths, councils have said. The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents almost 400 councils in England and Wales, said prominent messages were needed about the dangers of the game.
Neknominate involves people filming themselves downing alcohol, nominating someone to take up the challenge, and posting the video on social media sites.
Councils are now publishing warnings about alcohol through internet safety campaigns that provide links for parents, carers and young people.
The LGA said some schools had asked for warning notices about neknominate to be put on noticeboards and read out at assemblies.
On Wednesday, the industry-funded charity Drinkaware called on parents to take a tough stance against the game over fears that young teenagers are under pressure to take part.
Katie Hall, chair of the LGA's community wellbeing board, said: "This is an utterly reckless and totally irresponsible craze which has tragically claimed lives. More should be done to highlight the dangers and persuade people not to participate.
"We believe social media operators have a responsibility to provide health warnings to user groups and individuals.
"The LGA is looking for these corporations to show leadership – and not ignore what is happening on their sites.
"We are urging Facebook and Twitter executives to sit down with us and discuss a way forward which tackles this issue head-on."
The LGA said Boston borough council in Lincolnshire is encouraging those people nominated to continue the drinking game to contact their community safety team.
Sevenoaks district council in Kent is launching an internet safety campaign on neknominate, while Worcestershire county council has called for people not to join in.
A spokeswoman for Twitter declined to comment.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/22/neknominate-health-warnings-twitter-facebook-councils