A lethal drinking game known as Neknominate, thought to have originated in Australia, is sweeping through many parts of the world. The game has shown signs of escalating out of proportion, after five men - aged 30 or below - died after playing it.
The game, which is widely considered a horrific experimentation, involves filming oneself downing an alcohlic beverage - very often in large quantities - and then nominating a friend, daring him or her to outdo the act. The video is then posted on social media, such as Facebook or YouTube.
Police in Britain are investigating the death of Bradley Eames, 20, who reportedly died after downing nearly two pints of gin. The death of another Irish teen, Jonny Byrne, has also been blamed on the game, after he jumped into a river while playing the game.
The game, which started as a fun act, has now turned horrifying, with five deaths already attributed to it. What worries people worldwide is that the nature of the game is turning increasingly dangerous and lethal with every passing experiment.
Also, there are already reports suggesting that people have starting drinking not just alcohol but other horrifying mixtures, as there appears to be no limit on the type of drinks that are consumed by competitors, as the task for each nomination becomes more and more daring and outlandish.
CNN has reported that the bravado of downing drinks has escalated into extreme cocktails. Videos have been circulating where one mixes alcohol with a dead mouse, while another one drinks water straight out of a toilet. The game has become a horror with players also consuming alcohol with insects, engine oil and dog food.
While politicians have demanded that schools should play a bigger role in making people aware of the downsides to such experimentations, the role of social media such as Facebook has also come under scrutiny.
The social networking giant said in a statement: "We do not tolerate content which is directly harmful, for example bullying, but behavior which some people may find offensive or controversial is not always necessarily against our rules," CNN reported.
"We encourage people to report things to us which they feel breaks our rules so we can review and take action on a case by case basis," the statement added.