Blue Whale Challenge

Lately, there are a lot of discussions about the Blue Whale Challenge that are doing the rounds. Talks about it are all over the news and the matter has started to grab the attention of people worldwide. So what is exactly the Blue Whale Challenge?

The Blue Whale Challenge is a suicidal game in which the administrators (known to be the curators) give the players a series of tasks for a period of 50 days and each of the tasks is to be performed on a daily basis in which the final task is to commit suicide. The players are also supposed to send pictures of the tasks completed by them to the administrators as a proof of their task completion. Initially the tasks are simple and do not seem harmful (simple yet odd things that a person does not usually do) but eventually, it starts escalating to different levels of torturing one’s own self including self-mutilation and death at the end.

Origin of the Game:

It was in the year 2013, that the game first surfaced on Russia’s social networking site Vkontakte. The first suicide influenced by the game was allegedly caused in the year 2015. The game became much known to the teenagers in Russia after a journalist published an article about the game but with some unrelated suicide cases.

A psychology student named Philipp Budeikin, who was expelled from the university claimed to be the inventor of the game with the intention of cleaning the society by making those having no value according to him, to take their own lives. This man was arrested later and admitted to having manipulated at least 16 teenage girls to commit suicide.

A person named Ilya Sidorov, aged 26 was being arrested in Moscow for being one of the administrators of the Blue Whale Challenge game.

Reported Cases:

Cases of suicide linked to the game have been reported all over the world including countries like Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Georgia, India, Italy, Kenya, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

In Argentina, two victims were reported to hurt themselves because of the game and in 2017 a 16-years-old boy died in the hospital after his attempt to suicide as the last task of the game.

There are several people in Brazil who were victims of this deadly game. Seven Brazilian states reported cases of suicides and mutilation.

In Russia, about 130 suicide cases which are expected to be related to the Blue Whale phenomenon are being investigated.

In India, in the month of July 2017 two suicides have been reported – a 16-year-old boy from Kerala and a 14-years-old boy from Mumbai. In the former case, the mother of the victim claimed that such ill-fated was because of the game which he downloaded nine months back while in the latter case the Chief Minister of Maharashtra blamed the game though there was no evidence found by the Mumbai police. In August 2017 a student of Std.VII from Indore who apparently recorded the different tasks of the game in his school diary was saved by a few of the students of the school just before he took his final leap. In the same month, 4 other suicide cases were also registered from different parts of the country – a tenth-grade student from West Bengal, a 2-years-old man from Kerala, a 13-years-old boy from Uttar Pradesh and a 19-years-old college student from Tamil Nadu. In the last case of Tamil Nadu, the victim wrote in a note, “You can enter it, but cannot exit the game”. After scanning his mobile phone a WhatsApp group of as many as 75 members in the Madurai District was found who are expected to be actively playing the game. Some of these victims had also made a symbol of a whale on their hands with sharp objects.

However, the existence of the game has not been confirmed. The reported suicides are what the families of the deceased believe to be the result of the game’s possible influence. Lately, there are several other reports of Blue Whale Challenge related incidents from all over but the police did not find any strong evidence supporting the facts.

How the Manipulation Works:

The users are basically manipulated to complete the tasks and eventually take their own lives. The initial tasks being simpler the users tend to start performing them and slowly get addicted to the concept of so-called winning and ultimately take up the last task for their urge to win!

Some of the tasks include talking to a ‘whale’ over Skype and also eventually meeting the ‘whale’. So when it is in person, it is pretty easier to persuade someone to do self-harming tasks who are already suffering from depression.

Measures Taken:

In May 2017 a bill against creating suicide groups on the social networking websites was passed by the Russian parliament. In June 2017, a law imposing a punishment of six years in prison was passed for those who induce minors to suicide.

In May 2017, China’s largest internet service portal (Tencent) closed about 12 suspicious groups from its social networking site and also blocked search results of the possible words related to the game. 

In August 2017, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India has directed the internet companies like Google and Facebook to remove any link directing people to this horrendous game.

 

It is believed that the tasks of the Blue Whale Challenge involve carving some symbols on the hand, waking up at odd times, watching scary videos, hurting self, standing on the edge of a bridge, climbing a crane, sitting on the edge of the roof and so on. If anyone is seen doing these sorts of above-mentioned tasks it is advisable to talk to them or report the fact to somebody who can help.

Though the concept of how users play the game is pretty vague, some say that the app can be installed on smartphones while others say it can be played on the social networking sites. Therefore it’s quite important for all the parents to be vigilant and be aware of what their children do and share on the social networks and also have an idea of how their smartphones are being used. Kids nowadays tend to keep certain things to themselves and handle things on their own but it is really necessary for the parents to talk to their children and assure them that they can share anything that is bothering them. To some extent, this will definitely help bring them out of the depression zone and keep them away from such gruesome game.

To beat the evil Blue Whale Challenge, came into limelight the Pink Whale (also known as Beleia Rosa) which is all about spreading positivity and combating depression. It is the idea of a Brazilian designer and publicity agent which gives us an impression that the internet can do good as well.

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Lately, there are a lot of discussions about the Blue Whale Challenge that are doing the rounds. Talks about it are all over the news and the matter has started to grab the attention of people worldwide. So what is exactly the Blue Whale Challenge? The Blue Whale Challenge is...

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