Councils want social networks to introduce Neknominate warnings

Prof Mark Bellis: "Deaths caused by Neknominate are probably the tip of an iceberg"

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Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter should introduce warnings over the drinking game Neknominate, councils in England and Wales have said.

The game, which involves people filming themselves downing alcohol and then nominating someone else to continue, has been linked to several deaths.

The Local Government Association (LGA) called Neknominate a "totally irresponsible craze".

It said social media companies have a responsibility to show health warnings.

Earlier this month, an inquest heard that police plan to speak to a person who "Neknominated" 20-year-old Isaac Richardson, who collapsed and died after drinking a cocktail involving a "large amount" of alcoholic drinks at the hostel where he worked in Woolwich, south-east London.

He was reported to be the first British victim of the Neknominate game.

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.

Now the LGA - which represents nearly 400 councils in England and Wales - has called on social networking sites to "show leadership" and not ignore what is happening on their sites.

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.

"We are urging Facebook and Twitter executives to sit down with us and discuss a way forward which tackles this issue head-on."

Twitter declined to comment.

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