Over the past two weeks Facebook feeds nationwide have been jammed with NekNominate drinking game videos, but some have decided not to play by the rules.
The craze has swept the nation since it arrived from Australia. Even the death of Stephen Brooks in Cardiff last week has done little to deter the drinking bravado.
This is the second death which has been directly linked to the game in Britain, and highlights the risks posed when consuming large amounts of mixed alcohol in a very short space of time.
But a small number of people have decided to buck the trend and come up with a way to turn the game into something constructive.
RakNominations involve nominees carrying out a random act of kindness for a complete stranger rather than downing alcohol. The game has been dubbed “heartwarming” and roundly praised by media outlets across the country.
Bronwen Russell-Jones bought flowers for a passer-by in one of Cardiff’s supermarkets: “It’s a great feeling being able to surprise a complete stranger with a little piece of happiness. This is a fun and positive way of challenging the dark and pointless selfishness of NekNominate,” he said.
A university student has also come up with a more socially responsible alternative. Hartesh Battu, of Edinburgh, decided to donate a pint rather than down one.
His decision to give blood has been copied by dozens since. Mr Battu is extremely pleased with the effect he has had: “Blood saves lives, that’s the truth of it.”
Alcohol Concern Cymru have also spoken out against the drinking trend: “We’re asking people not to participate in games like these, which represent a serious risk to safety, and for social network sites like Facebook to review their policies regarding inappropriate content,” said Mark Leyshon, spokesperson for the organisation.
Facebook has come under intense scrutiny for continuing to provide a platform for the videos, and some claim the social media site is cashing in heavily from adverts alongside the clips.
Advertising on special NekNominate groups has been removed and targeted advertising linked to the craze has been stopped. But in reality we can’t rely on Facebook to deal with the problem, which would amount to a wide-scale internet censorship.
Mr Leyshon continued: “Clearly there’s more work to do in our attempts to de-normalise binge drinking amongst young people, but they take their cues from society’s overall attitude to drinking and it’s this we have to change,” he said.