In what could be one of the strangest things you would ever come across, there is an Internet trend growing in popularity that encourages its participants to hurt themselves in real life. Called the Blue Whale game, this 50-day challenge requires participants to receive instructions from an anonymous administrator, and their final task is to commit suicide. As horrible as it may sound, the mysterious Blue Whale game has been in existence for at least four years. Over 100 deaths in China, United States, and other countries have been linked to this challenge over the years. At least two recent deaths in India have been linked to this sick challenge as well.
Here's what you need to know about this challenge.
- Last month a 9th standard student in Andheri in Mumbai jumped to death, apparently because of the Blue Whale game. A 7th standard student in MP jumped off a third floor this week.
- The Blue Whale challenge is not a video game. It is simply a set of instructions, like a chain letter, but made viral with social media.
- Social media savvy teens have discovered this challenge from different hashtags on Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Networks like Tumblr and YouTube are now trying to help by showing suicide prevention groups contacts when users post Blue Whale related keywords.
- The challenge was created by Philipp Budeikin, a 22-year-old Russian, who directly handed out instructions to some children. In an interview this year, he said he made the game to "clean society," as people who participated in it were "biological waste." He has been jailed for three years. It remains unclear who is the current administrator now, and how many of them exist.
- It gets its name from beached whales, that get stranded and die. Reports of deaths linked to the Blue Whale game go back to 2015, and started in Russia..