Blue Whale challenge: 17-year-old Russian girl, alleged mastermind, arrested
The unnamed girl is accused of threatening victims she would murder them or their families if they didn’t complete the task.world Updated: Aug 31, 2017 14:22 IST
A 17-year-old Russian girl has been arrested for allegedly being the mastermind behind the deadly Blue Whale Challenge, that encouraged players to commit suicide.
The teenager, who was not identified by authorities, allegedly threatened her victims that she would murder them or their families if they did not complete the tasks that were set.
The Blue Whale Challenge targets those who are depressed and turns suicide into a thrilling game. After signing up, the ‘players’ are set tasks for 50 days, that include self-harm, watching horror movies alone, carving a whale on their arm. Their final task on the 50th day is to kill themselves.
The twisted challenge has been linked to more than 130 suicides around the world.
Russian police released footage of a raid on the teenager’s house in far-east Russia, where they found portraits of Philipp Budeikin, a Russian psychology student who is behind bars after he confessed to inventing the challenge. Budeikin was sentenced to three years in a Russian prison.
According to Russian police, the 17-year-old girl initially played the game but did not complete it by taking her own life. Instead, she turned into an administrator on the site, where she incited others to complete tasks.
“This administrator was sending particular tasks - often life-threatening - to each of several dozen members of the group,’ Colonel Irina Volk of the Russian interior ministry was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “In contrast to similar groups, teenagers in this group were blackmailed with death threats against them or their relatives for not completing the tasks.”
In July, Russian police nabbed a 26-year-old man accused of being the brain behind a suicide cult resembling the Blue Whale Challenge. Ilya Sidorov, arrested from Moscow, was accused of encouraging vulnerable young children harm themselves and eventually commit suicide.
First Published: Aug 31, 2017 13:27 IST