share on:

From reading updates from friends and family to watching cute cat videos, Americans spend on average over 3 hours a day on social media. And that’s why a dangerous new meme is causing such a stir.

The drinking game “NekNominate” is sweeping Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media outlets throughout Australia, the U.K., and North America.

The game starts when one person takes videos or pictures of themselves downing a large amount of alcohol—usually while doing a wild stunt—and posts the images on social media. The person then “nominates” friends to top their “necking,” post their own images, and in turn nominate more people.

With each round, the antics—and the amount of alcohol consumed—escalate. Stunts from NekNominators range from stupid to just plain gross, such as drinking alcohol out of a toilet or stripping down in public while chugging a beer. In one video, a man adds a dead mouse to his alcoholic smoothie.

Extreme Binge Drinking, Drunk Driving, and Other Idiocy

But some of the videos show behaviors that are outright dangerous. One man is seen skateboarding on a highway toward oncoming traffic while gulping from a funnel. Drinking while driving is also popular. And even without the dangerous pranks, NekNominators often down considerable quantities of hard alcohol very quickly.

Stupid drinking games are nothing new. But the dynamics of social media make the NekNominate fad particularly concerning. It doesn’t take long for popular memes to spread rapidly and across large geographical areas. NekNominators often name a handful of friends in their video, or with a few clicks, they can tag and nominate dozens of people. And the desire to rack up likes, comments, and retweets may spur some participants to think up wilder and more dangerous ways to complete their nomination.

Appealing to Kids

The game also appeals to social media users who are too young to drink legally. In a recent CNN story, a father described how his young son was nominated. The boy chugged a bootful of water but told his friends he was drinking vodka. The boy’s response illustrates the peer pressure some may feel to participate—those who are nominated but fail to join in face being ridiculed on social media for everyone to see.

Officials in the U.K. have tied five deaths to the game, and some suggest Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter should be held responsible for taking down the videos. Social sites have disclaimers that allow them to remove posts that are reported to show illegal or dangerous activity, like many of the NekNominate images. Others have argued that NekNominate is just a technology-age twist on old drinking games.

What do you think?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Alison Betts

Alison Betts

Alison Betts has nearly two decades of experience as a communications professional and researcher in corporate, nonprofit, and high education settings. Betts joined SCRAM Systems in 2013 and is the Director of Marketing & Public Relations. Prior to coming to SCRAM Systems, she held research and teaching positions at universities in Arizona and Colorado. Betts has also served as a public relations professional and grant writer in the nonprofit sector, where she saw first-hand the devastating impact of alcohol and substance abuse on families and communities. Betts holds an MA in English from the University of Colorado and a Master’s in Applied Communications from the University of Denver.


  1. This game is something that should not be tolerated. It is downright stupid and dangerous. I get all the “it’s fun” stuff but if you put lives on the line then it must be stopped.

  2. I tried these onetime and it’s not funny a lot of people are having a hard time drinking that alcohol and a lot of people are still don’t know how to be with the friends cause of stuff like these one.

  3. I believe that nobody should be aloud to drink and drive no matter how much they have had to drink. I think that policing should be better at night especially if there is a big event going on and at the bars for sure.Also i think in all new cars, that breathalizer should be in the cars and if they go somewhere past a certain time at night they should have to blow into it to start their car. Also if people are getting into trouble with drunk driving, i think that tougher laws should get passed, so they learn a lesson and not be on the road putting other peoples lives in danger.

Leave a Response

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.