The vicious social media death game Blue Whale Challenge has gone viral and is the reason why teenagers are compelled to ending their lives. The Blue Whale Challenge is 50-day challenge where teenagers are pressurized to perform self-harming tasks and finally end their lives on 50th day as final task of the challenge.
Who Created Blue Whale Challenge
The Blue Whale Challenge was created by the 22-year-old Philipp Budeikin, who is responsible for inciting 17 teens to commit suicide. He was arrested by Russian Police and is sentenced to 3 years in jail. The creator said, he started Blue Whale Challenge to “cleanse society”.
The tasks could include anything from walking on tracks at 4.20am or watching horror movies at odd hours or drawing letters on your hand with knife. The most self-harming task is to draw blue whale on your hands by cutting your veins and is most gory of them all.
Goal of Blue Whale Challenge
The goal of Blue Whale Challenge is to traumatized young children(mostly teens) and make them commit acts of self-injury. The Blue Whale Challenge first began in Russia and Eastern Europe then spread to countries like U.S.A. and has recently entered UK & India and has already claimed 130 lives worldwide.
Recently in India, a 14 yr old boy committed suicide by jumping off 5th floor building. Till date there are four deaths recorded of blue whale challenge in India. Teenagers are watching videos on how to commit suicide.
How it Works
Mentors communicate via social media to teenagers by sending them horror videos and then try to get their personal information to force them to accept the challenge. Teens are sent one task daily to perform and are asked to send proof of task completed in form of videos/photos.
The game is played entirely with use of hashtags and doesn’t run through any app or website and hence is difficult to track or ban. Watch for tags like #f57, #i_am_whale and #curatorfindme, these are used to register for the game via social media.
Teenagers once accept the challenge find it very difficult to come out of it, because they are constantly pressurized and blackmailed to complete all tasks. Teenagers give in and perform tasks and eventually end their lives.
What Action is being Taken
Indian Authorities have called for a ban of #bluewhalechallenge on social media channels like Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter. YouTube & Tumblr are trying to help by showing suicide prevention groups when teenagers post or search #bluewhalechallenge related keywords. Instagram shows a pop-up which reads, “Can We Help” when keyword is searched, warning that it can cause harm or death.
Police Authorities are taking various steps to nab people responsible, additionally teenagers or their parents can complain to cyber crime cells in respective countries in case of cyber bullying. It’s important for teenagers to communicate with parents or teachers, if anyone is pressurizing them, the Blue Whale Challenge is becoming a global risk, let’s work towards banishing it.
Signs To Watch Out For
Parents should watch out for signs like loneliness or children travelling alone or marks of self-injury. They should constantly monitor what their kids are posting or viewing on social media. If they find any of tasks being performed, they should contact child counsellor or psychiatrist.
Parents should be well aware that the internet and social media are never safe and they need to make sure their children are browsing the right information. If you ever been part of it or might have seen your friend accepting the challenge, please report it to an elder before it gets too late.
Please mention in comments below, any suggestions/tips on how to prevent the Blue Whale Challenge from spreading to more countries.