In the past few days, a new phenomenon has been trending on social media, not because of how good it is, but for the numerous lives, it has taken. The Blue Whale Challenge is actually not an app or a game which can be downloaded from a specific link. A lot of people believe that it is probably available in the app store, which is not true at all.
On the contrary, it is a web, created by private groups who search for vulnerable teenagers on YouTube comments or other such websites. It is a 50-day challenge where in the people part of the group need to do certain dares and post videos/photos of completing them as a proof.
The admins of the private groups give out dares like watching a horror film or even self-harm. There have been various pictures going viral of kids doing it to themselves in order to complete the challenge.
Recently a 14-year old in Mumbai committed suicide as part of this deadly social media challenge. There have been 130 such cases of teenagers across Russia alone. This challenge was created by 22-year old Philipp Budeikin, who is in jail for inciting young people to kill themselves. He claimed that the idea behind the Blue Whale was to get rid of “biological waste” from the society.
Why only teenagers? Mrinmay Das, Senior Psychiatrist, Department of Behavioural Medicine, Jaypee Hospital, Noida said, “Developers of such games are well aware of the vulnerabilities of the teenagers and know that they succumb to peer pressure easily. They are also well aware of the fact that teenagers nowadays are finding themselves unhappy, directionless and lacking goals.”
Parents all across the world are extremely petrified and it seems like major counselling needs to be done for the youth. Amar Shankar Sable (BJP) demanded action against this challenge. Along with him, even other BJP members think that this challenge is responsible for the Mumbai boy’s death and that some action needs to be taken in order to prevent such mishaps further.
Drawing attention towards such highly addictive games, in the zero hour on Thursday, BJP MP Vikas Mahatme said that such games are harming children and demanded action from the government. The Upper house chair has directed the government to take cognizance in the matter.