BLUE Whale is a twisted suicide challenge that appears to goad vulnerable teens into killing themselves.
The horrifyingly dangerous game has been linked to at least 130 teen deaths across Russia.
What is the Blue Whale online suicide game?
The Blue Whale suicide game is believed to be a social media group which is encouraging people to kill themselves.
There are hundreds of thousands of posts relating to the sick trend on Instagram.
It’s thought a group administrator assigns daily tasks to members, which they have to complete over 50 days.
The horrific tasks include self-harming, watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours, but these gradually get more extreme.
On the 50th day, the controlling manipulators behind the game reportedly instruct the youngsters to commit suicide.
The NSPCC say children should remember not to follow the crowd and not feel pressured into doing anything that makes them feel unsafe.
A spokesperson said: “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.”
FOR KIDS: How to say no
It can sometimes be hard to stand up to your friends, so Childline offers the following tips on how to say no:
- Say it with confidence:
Be assertive. It’s your choice and you don’t have to do something which makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
- Try not to judge them: By respecting their choices, they should respect yours.
- Spend time with friends who can say ‘no’: It takes confidence and courage to say no to your friends. Spend time with other friends who also aren’t taking part.
- Suggest something else to do: If you don’t feel comfortable doing what your friends are doing, suggest something else to do.
- Any child worried about peer pressure or online worries can contact Childline on 1098.
Is Blue Whale in India?
The answer to this question is sad, Yes this game has affected India as well. A class 7 student from Indore on Thursday tried to commit suicide by jumping off the third floor of his school building apparently by taking up the infamous Blue Whale Challenge but was saved by his classmates.
The deadly game, ostensibly created by a former convict in Russia, psychologically provoke players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before finally taking the “winning” step of killing themselves. Each task needed to be filmed and shared as “proof”.
According to Rajendra Nagar police station in-charge inspector V P Sharma, the Thursday’s incident took place at the city’s Chameli Devi Public School soon after the assembly was over.
This is believed to be the second case in India of a student being goaded to take the dire steps by the instructors of the online game, blamed for hundreds of teenage suicides around the world.
A 14-year-old boy was allegedly goaded by the online challenge into killing himself by jumping off the terrace of his building in Mumbai on August 1 in what is believed to be the first casualty of the Blue Whale phenomenon in India.
Mumbai police are, however, yet to confirm that the suicide was part of the dreaded challenge. Source : NDTV
FOR PARENTS: How to talk about peer pressure
- Create the right situation: Make sure you both have time to talk, the atmosphere is relaxed, and remember that this is a conversation, not an interrogation.
- Listen: Avoid solely talking at them. Listen to their concerns and their experiences.
- Acknowledge their worries: Dismissing their feelings will only shut down the conversation and make them reluctant to talk about what’s bothering them.
- Help them practice ways of saying no: Rehearsing with them ways to stand up to peer pressure and coming up with alternatives for them will build their confidence.
- Keep the conversation going: Let them know that they can always come to you if they have more worries, and take an interest in how they get on saying “no”.
How many teenage deaths have been linked to Blue Whale in Russia?
Police are said to be probing a number of suicides across Russia which they fear is linked to the online craze.
But as of yet the Blue Whale game has not been proven to be directly responsible for any deaths.
Investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported: “We have counted 130 suicides of children that took place between November 2015 to April 2016.
“Almost all these children were members of the same internet groups and lived in good, happy families.”
Two schoolgirls Yulia Konstantinova, 15, and Veronika Volkova, 16, fell to their deaths from the roof of a 14-storey apartment block.
Another unnamed 15-year-old girl was also critically injured after falling on to snowy ground from a fifth floor flat in the city of Krasnoyarsk, also Siberia. Two days earlier, a 14-year-old girl from Chita was reported to have thrown herself under a commuter train.
A 13-year-old boy was also saved from killing himself after he was spotted perching on the edge of a roof in Lviv, Ukraine.
Yulia left a note saying “End” on her social media page after she posted a picture of a big blue whale.
A family raced to stop a 15-year-old girl from killing herself, with the young girl reportedly now recovering in a hospital in Barcelona.
The Russian parliament proposed a bill bringing about criminal responsibility for the creation of pro-suicide groups on social media. This will need to be signed by President Vladimir Putin and would see those who incited others to commit suicide jailed for up to four years.
What are police doing to investigate Blue Whale related deaths?
Cops are said to have launched a probe into the sick craze sweeping Russia – the suicide capital of the world.
It was reported that two teenage boys were detained by police at the scene after allegedly filming the tragic double suicide of Yulia and Veronika.
The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a probe on “incitement to suicide” regarding the pair’s death.
In Krasnoyarsk, law enforcement recently opened three criminal cases of incitement to suicide involving schoolgirls via the groups on social media. In all three cases, the teenagers were rescued.
One local school director told police he had received an anonymous call saying a student had joined a “group of death” and planned soon to kill herself.
The police identified the girl who explained that she had joined a “game” and had been given “tasks” by the group administrator.
She did not obey the commands, which involved self-harm, but there are fears that others did.
In the Chita case, transport police confirmed the game is a possible “cause of death”.
Last year, an alleged ringleader named as 21-year-old Philipp Budeikin was detained, and he has been charged with organising eight groups between 2013 and 2016 which “promote suicide”.
Some 15 teenagers committed suicide, and another five were rescued at the last moment, according to the case against him.
What is Instagram doing to stop the game spreading?
Instagram has started showing users a warning when they search for pictures relating to Blue Whale.
When you search for the term on the network, a notification appears which reads: “Posts with words or tags you’re searching for often encourage behavior that can cause harm and even lead to death.
“If you’re going through something difficult, we’d like to help.”
But directly underneath the post, it gives the option to “see posts anyway”.
There are several shocking pictures of self-harm and even jokes about the sick game once you click through.
Some include pools of blood on the floor, while others appear to show a whale carved onto an arm.