Eerily similar to the movie Nerve, a sick ‘suicide challenge’, known as Blue Whale, is goading teens in some countries into committing suicide. The terrifying online craze is said to have claimed more than 130 lives in Russia, where it is suspected to have originated. The game has now found followers in UK, apart from Portugal, Brazil and Dubai. Schools abroad are sending advisories to parents to put a strict watch on what their children are downloading.
WHAT IT DOES
The app brainwashes children by throwing them 50 challenges over a period of 50 days, which include self-mutilation, waking up at unearthly hours and watching scary videos and listening to haunting music sent by the curator. The last of the challenges is to kill yourself.
The catch of the game is that once you download it, you won’t be able to uninstall it as the app also hacks your phone. And, there is no backing out. Apparently, once you agree to be a part of the game, you are not allowed to back out. If you do, the creators threaten to get you or your parents killed, as they have all the information.
Also, the highly-illegal game is not available for download and is available only to a closed community, so instead of the teenagers seeking the game, the creators seek out their victims.
What is worrying the authorities is how the challenge is still continuing and claiming lives when the creator of the challenge was arrested in Russia. 22-year-old Philipp Budeikin, the creator of the Blue Whale Challenge was sentenced to three years in prison.
Budeikin, in an interview in May, was asked if he was deliberately inciting young teenagers to commit suicide. He said, “Yes, I truly was doing that. Don’t worry, you’ll understand everything. Everyone will understand”.
Budeikin claimed that he gave those people “warmth”, “understanding” and “contact” and that the kids who committed suicide because of him “died happily”.
“There are people – and there is biological waste. Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society. I was cleaning our society of such people”, Budeikin said
What the game is all about:
- The terrifying Blue Whale challenge has claimed more than 130 lives in Russia, where it all started
- The app throws 50 challenges to users, which include self-mutilation, watching scary videos. The last of the challenges is to kill yourself
- The game is not freely available for download. The creators seek out their next victims and send them an invitation to join
- Once downloaded, the app hacks users’ phones and obtains all personal information, threatening to get them or their parents killed if the users later want to back out.
“Children can find it difficult to stand up to peer pressure but they must know it’s perfectly okay to refuse to take part in crazes that make them feel unsafe or scared.Parents should talk with their children and emphasise that they can make their own choices and discuss ways of how to say no.Reassuring a child that they can still be accepted even if they don’t go along with the crowd will help stop them doing something that could hurt them or make them uncomfortable.”
The sudden popularity of the lethal online game — Blue Whale Challenge, 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.
The petition said “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 benefited if the said menace is stopped.”
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.
Let’s hope the children get over and control peer pressure and approach elderly to help themselves.