What is Blue Whale Challenge?

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Blue Whale Challenge
The Blue Whale Challenge, an online self-harming game, has allegedly claimed another life in India. This time, it is a Class 10 student from West Bengal’s West Midnapore district.

On Saturday (Aug 12), Ankan Dey of Anandpur town allegedly committed suicide by covering and tying his head with a plastic bag and a cotton cord inside his bathroom to meet one of the tasks in the online game.

So far, the Blue Whale Challenge online game has claimed over 100 young lives across the world, including the US, India and China.

Here is everything you should know about the Blue Whale Challenge online game:

1. The challenge calls itself “Blue Whale” as the term stands for the phenomenon of beached whales in which they strand themselves on a beach and often die of dehydration, or by collapsing under their own weight, or drowning when high tide covers their blowholes.

2. The Blue Whale Game or the Blue Whale Challenge is an Internet game which assigns its players a series of 50 daily tasks. The final task ends with the suicide of the player.

3. The daily challenges range from anything from simple ones like watching a horror film or disturbing videos, listening to a particular song, and waking up at odd hours; to extreme ones like carving words or whale symbols using knives or blades into your skin, and poking needles into arms and legs.

4. The first challenge generally comes at 4.20am.

5. Every player has to provide photographic or video proof to the admin once a task is completed successfully.

6. Each task in the Blue Whale Challenge needs to be carried out secretly, as per the instruction of the admin.

7. Once a person starts playing the game, he/she is not allowed to leave it at any point of time.

8. The Blue Whale Game was started in Russia in 2013. Within 2 years, it spread across the world like wildfire and claimed its first victim in 2015.

9. A 22-year-old Russian psychology student Philipp Budeikin, who was expelled from his university, is said to have invented the game.

In an interview, Philipp Budeikin said he got this game to “clean” the society as the people who would be tempted to play this game were nothing but “biological waste”.

10. Philipp Budeikin has been put behind the bars for three years and it is still unknown who is the current administrator of the game now.

11. The Blue Whale Challenge has claimed numerous victims across countries like Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Georgia, Italy, Kenya, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Spain, Uruguay, United States, India and Venezuela.

12. In July, a Class 9 student of Mumbai allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the building in the Andheri (East) suburb. He even posted his “last picture” on Instagram as a proof. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claimed that the boy was playing the Blue Whale Challenge.

13. On Friday (Aug 11), a Class 5 student in Dehradun city of Uttarakhand was stopped on time by his school authorities from allegedly committing suicide.

14. On Aug 10, a Class 7 student at Indore city of Madhya Pradesh was stopped and rescued by his friends while he tried to jump off the third floor of Chamali Devi Public School. He had recorded all 50 tasks he completed in his school diary.

15. On Aug 10, the Maharashtra Police managed to rescue a 14-year-old boy, who was travelling to Pune from Solapur in a bus to finish the Blue Whale Challenge.

16. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a ban on the Blue Whale game.

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In his letter, Vijayan said: “The Blue Whale game is a challenge to the whole society and comprehensive action against this from all responsible agencies is of utmost importance…Only solution to arrest this menace is to ban this game altogether and this can be done only with the help of Union Government.”

Big Wire

Sreya Basu

Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.

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