Government Directs Tech Giants to Remove Links to Blue Whale Challenge

Prayank

Last month, on July 30 a 14-year-old boy in Mumbai plunged to his death from his home and the incident sent shockwaves to the society as well as the internet community as the death was associated with an online social media game called the Blue Whale Challenge.

In a separate incident, a 16-year-old teenager hailing from Kerala was also found dead hanging from the ceiling on July 26 and the state cops have started a probe into the death which parents attribute to the deadly Blue Whale Challenge.

Now the Indian government has directed technology giants such as Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo to remove all the links to the game.

“Instances of children committing suicide while playing Blue Whale Challenge have been reported in India. It is understood that an administrator of the game uses social media platform to invite/incite children to play this game, which may eventually lead the child to extreme steps for self-inflicting injuries including suicide,” a letter sent by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, made available on Tuesday, read.

The game, which was reportedly designed by a 22-year-old Russian convict, Philipp Budeikin, has taken more than 130 lives of teenage girls and boys globally.

The game provokes the player to complete endearing tasks for 50 days and the final task is won when the player kills themselves. Each of the tasks has to be filmed to be shared as proof.

The tasks involve watching a horror or psychic movie, cutting self with blade, needle and inflicting self-harm in other ways.

“You are hereby required to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or any similar game is immediately removed from your platform. The proponent of Blue Whale Challenge should be reported to law enforcement agencies,” the letter said.

In both the aforementioned cases of teenagers killing themselves, the police have not yet ascertained the fact that the deaths are related to the Blue Whale Challenge but have confiscated both the teenager’s laptop and mobile phones to peruse the matter further.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Prayank

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Prayank

Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.