Nek Nominations craze condemned


Town leaders and health chiefs have condemned an internet craze which encourages young people to drink large quantities of alcohol - and dare others to do the same.

Nek Nominations’ has been shared by thousands of young people in Scotland on social networking sites over the last two weeks.

A person is nominated by a friend to undertake a certain task, usually involving the consumption of a pint or more of alcohol, and they go on to nominate others.

However, the trend has already been linked to four deaths - two in Ireland and two in England.

And one 15-year-old boy from Prestonpans became an internet star after his mother publicly shamed him for passing out after trying out the craze.

Now it has been slammed by several local councillors who have labelled it concerning and dangerous.

Councillor Alistair Hunter said: “This latest craze plays right into the adolescents draw to risk taking behaviour.

“It is the latest in a long line of stunts where young people flirt with danger.”

He added: “Young people have been taking risks since the beginning of time but it is the mass media proliferation and speed of social networking communication that blow these issues up into national stories in the blink of an eye.”

Cllr David Graham added: “Binge drinking of any kind is very concerning and is proven to have serious implications and effects on people’s health and wellbeing.

“The actions which are then being undertaken by people due to a mixture of alcohol and peer pressure are ludicrously dangerous which is highlighted by recent events which ended in the tragic and very sad deaths we have seen in Ireland.”

Cllr John O’Brien said: “This is madness. Young people are at risk because they are unaware of the dangers they are being led into.”

Grant Whytock, head at Buckhaven High School, said the issue had been raised with the older pupils.

“It was mentioned at the sixth year assembly where ‘safe chances, safe lifestyles’ was highlighted.”

NHS Fife chiefs called on social media companies to take responsibility.

Dr Edward Coyle, NHS Fife director of public health, said: “This encourages risk taking behaviour through the consumption of quantities of alcohol rapidly, in unfamiliar environments and accompanied by use of dangerous equipment or machinery.

“Promoting the misuse of alcohol through peer pressure leads people to take serious risks that in some circumstances have ended in tragedy. Social media companies have an important role in ensuring their published content is not promoting harmful behaviour.”