The West

Online drink craze dumb
Online drink craze 'dumb'

A new social media craze in which users post videos of themselves skolling alcohol and then challenge friends to do the same has been blasted as dumb and potentially dangerous.

The practice of "neknominate", which reportedly started in Perth, has clogged Facebook and Twitter feeds across Australia and New Zealand this week as people try to upstage one another with daring drinking antics.

Most videos appear to be harmless fun between mates but one post from Victoria shows a young man skolling a pint behind the wheel of a moving car.

A WA Police spokeswoman said they were unaware of any incident arising out of the practice locally.

Curtin University professor of health policy Mike Daube was disturbed by the Facebook clips.

"This is not just stupid but dangerous, and even more because it's putting other people at risk and promoting binge drinking," Professor Daube said.

"It's hard to find words to describe how dumb this behaviour is.

"One just hopes that nobody comes to any harm as a result."

A Facebook page entitled The Best Neknominate Videos yesterday surged past 38,000 "likes".

The page has former prime minister Bob Hawke, who skolled a beer during the recent Ashes cricket Test in Sydney, as its profile image.

And the beverage consumed is not limited to beer, or even alcohol. A video from New Zealand shows a person downing what is alleged to be human urine, while some Perth videos featured milk skols.

"This is a fad that will come and go and we have to hope it won't do too much damage along the way," Professor Daube said.

"But while there's nothing new about stupid drinking behaviour, what is new is both the culture among some young people of drinking to get drunk and the capacity to promote harmful behaviours through social media."

The origins of neknominate appear to stem from a university drinking game in the US called "icing", where fraternity members approach unassuming students and force them to skol a Smirnoff Ice vodka on the spot.

A YouTube clip named Bros Icing Bros has attracted more than 155,000 views since being uploaded in 2010.

The West Australian

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