Today:- Aug – After arguably claiming 130 lives worldwide, the Blue whale challenge finally comes to India. This suicide game has started to show it’s effects on Indian teenagers, as bodies begin to pile up. The game has now been linked to several other self harm trends.
As of today the Blue whale challenge seems not to be a hoax as there have been at least 6 recent blue whale related suicides in different parts of India. The Indian government has taken note of the deadly game and recently directed internet majors — Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo — to erase its links.
The Blue Whale challenge is a social media phenomenon that enters into the social media via secretive groups. The Blue Whale Challenge is believed to be a suicide game wherein a group of administrators or a certain curator gives a participant a task to complete daily over a period of 50 days. The term “Blue Whale” comes from the phenomenon of beached whales, which is linked to suicide.
These daily tasks start off easy such as listening to certain genres of music, waking up at odd hours, watching a horror movie, among others, and then slowly escalate to carving out shapes on one’s skin, self-mutilation and eventually suicide. Participants are expected to share photos of the challenges/tasks completed by them.
The administrators or curators of the game supposedly find the participants on social media platforms after those interested throw out postings on social media asking for a “curator”. A number of different hashtags, #bluewhalechallenge, #curatorfindme, #i_am_whale act as signals for the anonymous curators.
“Instances of children committing suicide while Blue Whale Challenge have been reported in India…You are hereby requested to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or similar game is immediately removed from your platform,” the Ministry of Electronics and IT has stated in a letter dated August 11 following instructions from Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.