Facebook has rejected calls by Irish authorities to ban pages and videos linked to a “neknomination” drinking craze, supposedly originating in Australia, despite one death in Ireland being linked to the online dare.
Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte demanded the social networking giant act as a raft of interest groups including health chiefs and psychiatrists called for the phenomenon to be stopped.
Jonny Byrne, 19, from Carlow in the Irish Republic, drowned after taking part in the stunt which sees people being challenged to post a video online of them downing drinks, then nominating others to do the same inside 24 hours.
Facebook declined to comment on the controversy but it is understood its approach is to advise users they have options to remove, block or hide messages which they find inappropriate or offensive or activity which they are not comfortable with.
Mr Rabbitte said the first responsibility is with young people falling for a “stupid ruse”.
But he added: “But it would be helpful if Facebook agreed to take down pages, which promote a stupid and silly phenomenon.”
The Union of Students in Ireland has warned young people of the dangers of taking part and the impact this may have on other people.
Neknomination, which acts like an online video linked chain mail, is reported to have originated in Western Australia.
It is understood Facebook was reviewing videos linked to the craze but that the posting of such material is not a breach of its rules or “community standards”.