What're you doing to restrict Blue Whale?: HC asks Centre
Amid an increase in cases of Blue Whale deaths being reported, the Delhi HC has asked the Centre what it is doing to restrict access to the "game". Earlier, the Madras HC had urged the government to consider banning it. The SC will hear a related petition on October 9. The Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) too had issued guidelines to internet giants.
The 'Blue Whale Suicide' challenge supposedly originates from online social media groups, where the administrator sets out tasks for participants to complete. The tasks range from self-mutilation to waking up at ungodly hours; and when the 50th day approaches, participants are brainwashed into committing suicide in order to complete the challenge. The targets for these challenges comprise of teenagers; some as young as 14.
The first death in India linked to Blue Whale was reported on July 29, when a 14-year-old allegedly jumped to his death from a building in Mumbai. Several other suicides have since been linked to the "game"; within two weeks, over six youths have killed themselves. In fact, seven Indian cities made the top-ten when it comes to global online searches for Blue Whale.
After the second alleged Blue Whale death in India, the government in August asked internet giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, WhatsApp, Yahoo and Instagram to remove all links to the dangerous online 'challenge'. Delhi Police had also issued an advisory to schools, colleges, parents and the public. It was planning an online preventive campaign related to the issue.
Google India, a party in the case, has submitted its participation isn't necessary and that Google Inc should be impleaded instead. Facebook India has a similar response: it said Facebook Ireland is in charge of services outside of USA and Canada.