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Blue Whale challenge: Chandigarh cyber cell on alert, issues advisory to parents

The cyber cell is not clear as to how the game is played as not everyone can play the game.

punjab Updated: Aug 31, 2017 22:35 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Blue Whale challenge,Blue Whale,Chandigarh cyber cell
UT’s cyber cell is closely monitoring hashtags and suspected groups through which challenge administrators find their targets. (HT File )

As suicide cases of youngsters who were allegedly lured into the Blue Whale challenge come from parts of the country, the cyber cell of the Chandigarh police is on alert and has issued an advisory to the parents on Wednesday.

Cyber cell’s advisory
  • Parents need to supervise the online activity of their children regularly
  • Check the online history to get idea about child’s activities on social media
  • Parents should follow the children on Facebook and other social networking sites and randomly check their accounts
  • Police have asked the parents to monitor their children closely for behavioural changes
  • Look out for depressed or violent behaviour
  • Long lonely hours online
  • Late night surfing, avoiding family company, among other unusual activities
  • Parents should allow their children access to social media activity only when they are convinced they are mature enough to handle it

Blue Whale is an online game that assigns participants, mostly teenagers, many tasks, with the final challenge requiring them to commit suicide. Though no case has been reported from the city so far but the police are not taking any chances.

“The teenagers and young adults look for adventure and the desire for social acceptance. This innate desire of youngsters is what this game is playing on and thus posing risk to many young lives,” shared Rashmi Sharma Yadav, deputy superintendent of police (DSP) (cyber cell).

She said, “To ensure safety of the children, parents need to monitor the behavioural changes of the children and not allow them unmonitored access to the internet.”

The cyber cell of the Chandigarh police are closely monitoring hashtags and suspected groups through which the challenge administrators find their targets.

But the police officials claim that as the servers through which the instructions are issued are not Indian, so keeping a track of these are a hard task for the cops.

“We are tracking online. We would be initiating strict action against the sites or links that are promoting such games,” said inspector Harinder Singh Sekhon, in-charge cyber cell, Chandigarh police.

“Not everybody can play the game. Thus the elders as well as the parents of the family need to supervise the online activity of the children,” said Sekhon.

What is Blue Whale challenge

It is an online game, which is a 50 day challenge that lists outs tasks to be performed by the player. It is a version of ‘truth and dare game’, played by the youngsters. In this the instructions are passed by the administrator or curator. The tasks are to be completed daily and the game ends with the suicide of the player. To ensure that the tasks are done, the participants are expected to share the picture on the social media. The game progresses from easy tasks to dangerous tasks, where contestants have to physically harm themself.

The modus operandi

The cyber cell is not clear as to how the game is played. Not everyone can play the game. Police say that the game is played through social media platforms. The administrators themselves get in touch with the participant tracking the posting on social media asking for a curator.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 15:11 IST