The Blue Whale Challenge is gaining popularity as a fatal online challenge which pushes youngsters to commit suicide. But what exactly is a blue whale challenge, and how is it compelling people to end their lives? How do people access it, is it an app or a website? Well, no! The Blue Whale Challenge did not originate as an app or a website, it cannot be installed or downloaded into your phone or computer!
The Blue Whale Challenge is a phenomenon, in which the admins of private social media groups assign a series of tasks to the players during a 50-days period, with the final task requiring the player to commit suicide. Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student who was expelled from his university, claims to have invented this challenge, with an objective to get rid of biological waste from society by inciting vulnerable people to commit suicide. Philipp has been arrested and found guilty for inciting at least 16 teenage girls to kill themselves! His arrest elevated the world wide concern over this malicious phenomenon.
Several disturbing self-harm images have been uploaded on social media under the light of this challenge. It allegedly caused its first suicide in 2015 and has been blamed for deaths across many countries, with over 130 deaths reported in Europe. Three days ago, a 14 year old boy from India fell prey to this challenge and committed suicide by jumping off his terrace.
This dangerous phenomenon has caused significant concern, and steps are being taken by social media platforms to control this trend. Instagram issues warnings to those searching for suicide dare games or blue whale.
Parents need to speak to their children regarding this challenge, and similar harmful online treads. Children need to be made aware of manipulation and peer pressure in order to enable them to recognize the same, and stay away from it. As parents and guardians, we must acknowledge the children’s worry and gain their trust, so that they count on us before any such online source.