Blue Whale Challenge: Delhi HC wonders how online game influencing adults

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also wondered why adults were getting into this game, in which dangerous tasks like inflicting of wounds on the body, are assigned to the player by administrators during a 50-day period.

delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2017 11:37 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Blue Whale Challenge,Blue Whale,blue whale game
The Delhi High Court wondered why adults were getting into this game, in which dangerous tasks like inflicting of wounds on the body, are assigned to the player by administrators during a 50-day period.(HT Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Thursday expressed concern over children allegedly committing suicide while playing the Blue Whale Challenge, an internet suicide game, that has been allegedly linked to the deaths of several kids worldwide.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also wondered why adults were getting into this game, in which dangerous tasks like inflicting of wounds on the body, are assigned to the player by administrators during a 50-day period.

The high court, however, refrained from passing any order on the plea seeking direction to the internet companies including Google, Facebook and Yahoo to take down the links of the Blue whale.

It wished to know whether the government has issued any prohibition order with regard to downloading of the game.

The bench said it can understand children getting influenced, but why were adults getting involved in it.

“If an adult is told to do a task, why would he/she go and jump from a building,” it said, adding that “we are wondering why both children and adult are doing this”.

The court also sought to know from the petitioner, advocate Gurmeet Singh, whether any such incident has happened in Delhi. It fixed the matter for further hearing on August 22.

Two days ago, the Ministry of Electronics and IT had directed Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to immediately remove the links of the Blue Whale Challenge.

The PIL was moved in the High Court on Wednesday, seeking directions to internet companies to take down the Blue Whale links.

Citing deaths of children in India and abroad, the petitioner sought immediate directions to restrain the internet majors from uploading any material pertaining to the Blue Whale Challenge.

He also sought direction to the Delhi Police to appoint a special five-member team to oversee whether the internet companies comply with the court’s direction.

The sudden popularity of the lethal online game, in which the final task requires the player to commit suicide, has forced the government to issue directions to the internet giants to remove the links of the dangerous game.

”There are so many children and people being adversely affected by this menace namely Blue Whale Challenge and they do not even know that the same will cost their life and their families will suffer heavily. All citizens of India will be benefitted if the said menace is stopped,” the petition reads.

More than six children across India in the age group of 12-19 years have taken their lives playing this game within a span of two weeks.

Deaths of teenagers have also been reported from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile and Italy, the PIL said.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 17:09 IST