Blue Whale Challenge

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The Blue Whale Challenge, also called Blue Whale game, or simply Blue whale is an internet phenomenon that started in 2016, in Russia. Over a period of 50 days, participants are assigned tasks. Each participant gets one task a day. At first, the tasks are harmless (such as: get up at 4.30am, and watch a horror movie). Later, the tasks require the participants to hurt themselves. The final task requires the player to commit suicide.[1][2]

When people want to quit, they are threatened. Sometimes, this includes threats to the family of the participant.

The first to report on this was the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, in 2016.[3] It linked many suicides of children. All these children had been members of the group "F57", in the Russian social network called VK. The article claimed there were 130 suicides because of the challenge.[4] The article was later criticized, because it made connections where none existed. None of the suicides were found to be related to the activities of the group. There were several suicides which have been linked to the challenge. So far, no link has been proven.[5]

Notable cases[change | change source]

Two girls in Irkutslk, aged 14 and 15 years committed suicide together, after solving 50 tasks. They jumped off a building.[6] Another 14 year old threw herself in front of a train.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Blue Whale: Should you be worried about online pressure groups?". BBC News. 2017-04-27. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  2. "Teen 'Suicide Games' Send Shudders Through Russian-Speaking World". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  3. "Новая газета - Novayagazeta.ru". Новая газета - Novayagazeta.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  4. "Why the Russian Suicide Game Went Global". Bloomberg.com. 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  5. "Why is 'Blue Whale' hysteria gripping India?". BBC News. 2017-09-18. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  6. Paulo, iG São (2017-04-07). "Jogo nas redes sociais leva duas garotas a cometerem suicídio na Rússia". Último Segundo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  7. "Teenagers are taking their own lives 'because of social media game blue whale'". Metro. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2020-12-02.