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Call for warnings over Neknominate drinking craze
SOCIAL network websites should introduce warnings about a drinking game that has swept Hampshire.
Twitter and Facebook should act over 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 on the websites about the dangers of the craze.
Neknominate involves people filming themselves downing alcohol, nominating someone to continue the game, and posting the video on social media sites.
Students and young people in Hampshire are among those consuming potentially fatal alcoholic cocktails in the latest widespread Internet trend.
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.
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.''
Solent University student Beth Anderson is one of those who have taken part having been nominated for the dare by her cousin.
Beth, 19, from Wilton Avenue, Southampton, drank a mixture of milk, vodka, strong lager and an apple and cinnamon cold and flu remedy.
She insists that there were no bad effects and added: “It’s your responsibility not to be too stupid with what you put in it. Some people take it too far but it’s meant to be silly. If you don’t want to do it, you shouldn’t have to.”
Health and alcohol charities have warned that people who take part are putting their health at risk.
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