Madras HC orders government action against The Blue Whale Challenge

The Madras High Court on Monday issued the order, asking the Union and Tamil Government to take serious measures against the Blue Whale Challenge, an online game that gives some disturbing tasks to the player for 50 days and on the 50th day, the player is asked to take their own life.

The Madurai bench also asked the Tamil Nadu Police to take strict actions against people who share the game.  The State and Centre government till September 8 has to respond to the court about all the steps taken by them to remove the Blue Whale Challenge link from social media. Likewise, the notice for appropriate steps to save the children from such self-harm game has been sent to NK Sinha, the Information and Broadcasting Secretary; Niranjan Mardi, Tamil Nadu Home Secretary and state’s IT Department.

Along with state bodies, the court also asked help from IIT-Madras Director, Bhaskar Ramamurthy through suggestions on banning the dangerous game.

In its submission, state police’s Crime Branch of CID (CBCID) said “Blue Whale links are blocked and that no one can download it in the state”.

This order came after a 15-year-old,Vignesh killed himself after playing the game on August 30. He had shared the link of the challenge with 75 other students from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, but nobody played the game.

Sources: Scroll.in, Indian Express

Blue Whale challenge claims another life

A 19-year-old college student, who recently committed suicide by hanging, is being suspected as the first Blue Whale challenge victim in Tamil Nadu. The police have said that the teen was part of a WhatsApp group of 75 friends who are playing the suicide game.

The victim, Vignesh, was found hanging in his room in by his father on August 30. He also found a note that read, “Blue Whale – This is not a game but danger. Once you enter, you can never exit.”

As per NDTV reports, the police also found the telling image of a whale carved into Vignesh’s left arm with “Blue Whale” written below it.

The victim was a second-year commerce student at a private college. His brother has revealed that he was depressed and had been spending a lot of time alone in the last 45-50 days.

After the incident, Madurai police officer Manivannan, said that anyone suspecting a Blue Whale victim should contact the police on their helpline number 77088 06111.

This challenge created by 22-year-old Philipp Budeikin has been blamed for at least three more suicides this month, in Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala.

Sources: India Today and NDTV 

 

Your next challenge is ‘Die’

How about a game where you get to do all these crazy challenges? Challenges you feel connected to? And there is no turning back? Sounds exciting? Want to know what will you win? Or will you win at all? What if there is no alternative end, either you die or you die. Scared already? Well, we all should because a game, The Blue Whale, is exactly this dangerous and has taken almost 200 lives globally.

After Russia, United Kingdom, United States and several parts of Europe, the disastrous game finally made its way to India when a 14-year-old boy jumped from his building’s terrace in Andheri (Mumbai) on July 29,2017. Although the police have not yet confirmed of the connection of his death with the Blue Whale Challenge, his neighbour saw him taking a selfie before jumping. He even expressed his desire to become a pilot and go to Russia a few days back.

Why is this important information you ask? According to a report in The Economic Times, a 22-year-old Russian, Philipp Budeikin, is believed to be behind these deadly challenges. A Siberian court has ordered three years of jail sentence to Philipp for encouraging young kids to take their own lives.

The game is administered through closed groups on social media and the challenges are given via personal messages. The master of the game or curator search for players through suicide groups on VKontakte or VK.com (a Russian social media website). They send around 50 tasks one after another and player is supposed to send a proof that the challenge is done to the curator. The initial tasks are as simple as listening to the music sent by the curator or going for a walk during odd hours. However, this is just the beginning. The social media is filled with pictures where the teens have made cut on their skin in the shape of a whale, etc. After they are done with 49 tasks, the last task is to take their life.

You might wonder why don’t they give up at the end. Sadly, the kids are threatened that if they back out then the curator will come behind them as all their information is with the master.

There is no trace of the game on Google as everything happens through closed groups and is underground. After the increasing number of such suicide cases, the Russian police have shut down many closed groups. But, the problem is that similar new groups start in no time which has made the process even more tedious. 

A journalist from Europe created an account on VK.com and pretended to be a player. The curator gave the first task which involved deliberate self-harm. The journalist faked the picture by using photoshop and to which there was no reply from the curator.

The increasing number of such cases around the world has left everyone worried about the future of the internet. In many countries, the authorities have asked the parents to keep a check on their child’s web search and teach their children about cyber security. 

According to a study done by Centres for Disease Control in the United States last year, published that suicide is contagious and the age group of 15 to 19 is most vulnerable towards it. Around the same time the children go through hormonal changes and therefore the effect is magnified. Bangalore based clinical psychologist, Dr Shubha Madhusudan, says, “Hormones take over their intelligence. Even if parents are loving and available for them, they will want to do something thrilling. Also, social media has gained so much popularity that children want to become famous through social popularity.”, reported the Mint.

News Source: Mint, Indian Express

Image Source:  Twitter