After the Blue Whale Challenge
On August 30, a 19-year-old college student, Vignesh, was found hanging himself at his house in Madurai. In his suicide note, he said “the game (blue whale challenge) was a devastating one. Once you enter it, you wouldn’t be able to come out”. A day after Vignesh’s suicide came to light, another 15-year-old school student from Tamil Nadu hurt himself after playing the online game.
Devastation Caused by Blue Whale
So yes, the scars of the game are all over the world. Teenagers having raging hormones are jumping off the building. And why so? Because they are made to believe something. Something we can relate to ‘Jihaad’, as explained by the terrorists. The admins of the game kind of ‘brainwash’ the players. They are made to believe that they are losers in this world. But, there is another world, and they might be the chosen ones if they complete the challenge.
In November 2016, a 21-year-old administrator of a VK group was arrested and charged with persuading teens to commit suicide. His name is Filipp Budeikin, who went by the name “Filipp the Fox” online. He is believed to be at least partially responsible for the deaths of around 15 minors.
Controlling Blue Whale’s Spread
# The Indian Government on August 11 directed internet majors — Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft, and Yahoo — to immediately remove the links to dangerous online game Blue Whale Challenge.
# Recent news reports claim that the game has been “discovered” by a school in the UK. The police forces in France and Belgium have warned parents about the game. This happened after Belgian police became aware of three incidents of the game in just one week.
# The game’s administrators or curator find players through “death groups” or “suicide groups” set up on VK.com (VKontakte). Police in Russia has shut down several of these groups in recent years. But they say that as soon as one is shut down, another starts up and this has driven them underground.
Facebook’s Safety Center also offers guidance for parents, teenagers, educators to start a conversation about online safety, with localized resources and videos available. “We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review reports that come in and prioritize the most serious reports of suicide. For those who reach out to us, we provide suggested text to make it easier for people to start a conversation with their friend in need,” Facebook said.
Blue Whale Afterthought
In addition, Fortis Healthcare launched a 24×7 stress helpline to provide psychological support to them. The helpline number – 8376804102 – can be dialed by anyone undergoing stress or anxiety by being a participant in the challenge.