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What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

There have been several reports of people being encouraged to commit suicide by following the Blue Whale challenge. Here is what a Unicef India report says:

india Updated: Sep 01, 2017 11:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Blue Whale Challenge,Blue Whale game,Blue Whale suicide
There have been several reports of people being encouraged to commit suicide by following the Blue Whale challenge.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

There have been several reports of people being encouraged to commit suicide by following a list of challenges.

A 19-year-old college student who committed suicide in Madurai -- possibly the first suspected victim of the ‘Blue Whale’ challenge in Tamil Nadu -- wrote in a note: “Blue Whale is not a game but danger and once entered, you can never exit”.

Here is what aUnicef India report says on the challenge:

What is the Blue Whale Challenge and why should parents be concerned about this game?

1. The Blue Whale challenge is an online game. The game is named so because sometimes whales beach themselves intentionally and die.

2. In this game, an online administrator assigns tasks to its participants. The participants are given a period of 50 days to complete each task. The players are expected to take photos of them undertaking the challenge and upload them as proofs for the curator’s approval. The last challenge is to commit suicide.

Players of this game cannot stop playing because they are blackmailed and cyber bullied into completing the game.

3. This deadly game has spread all over the globe, and in India there have been reports of children harming themselves and in a few cases even committing suicides, which are allegedly linked to Blue Whale Challenge. More than six children across India in the age group of 12-19 years have taken their lives allegedly playing this game within a span of two weeks.

Where can children access this game?

Blue Whale is not a freely downloadable game, application or software. Children cannot access it on their smartphones through app stores or on social media platforms like Facebook. It is shared among secretive groups on social media networks. The creators seek out their players/victims and send them an invitation to join.”

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 19:02 IST