Can Blue Whale game be banned, Madras HC asks govt to explore possibility
The Blue Whale Challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete over a period of 50 days and the final task leads him or her to commit suicide.Updated: Sep 04, 2017 17:39 IST
The Madras high court on Monday directed the Centre and Tamil Nadu government to find ways to ban the dangerous Blue Whale Challenge, which has already claimed over a dozen lives in India and many more across the world, amid reports of another youngster committing suicide by jumping before a train.
Justice KK Sasidharan and justice GR Swaminathan of the Madurai bench took a suo moto notice of the suicides by two youngsters in Chennai and Puducherry last week. They issued notices to the Union information and broadcasting secretary, the state’s top bureaucrat and the IT department to find an urgent solution to save children from falling prey to the deadly game.
They suggested the government that it can take the help of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras to seek inputs on ways to block the game, which goads players to do self-destructive tasks for 50 days before taking the final step of death by suicide, and remove all links from the net and other sources.
The court directed the state’s police chief and home secretary to issue a strict warning to anyone who shares the dangerous online game that requires participants to complete a number of tasks within a 50-day period. The tasks become increasingly harmful through self-mutilation, and the final step is suicide.
While details of how the game is accessed are unclear, social media trends indicate the role of an online pressure group that gets in touch with targets, giving them the challenges and monitoring ‘progress’.
Officials in several cities in India, which is among top nations that have searched for Blue Whale Challenge, have issued alerts and urged internet service providers and social networking websites to help stop the spread of the game.
The state government told the court after the Madurai boy committed suicide it was detected that he shared the game with 75 others. All those 75 students have been saved, the state government’s counsel told the court.
“You can enter it, but cannot exit the game,” the 19-year-old from Madurai said in his suicide note.
The court also advised schools and parents to provide counselling to students and also monitor their activities as also to create awareness among students about such dangerous games on the internet.
A local advocate, Krishnamurthy, had appealed to the court to direct the central government to ban such dangerous games on September 1, a day after Vighnesh committed suicide.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on September 7.
The Blue Whale Challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete over a period of 50 days and the final task leads him or her to commit suicide. The player is also asked to share photos after finishing each challenge.
The game has claimed several lives worldwide.