Government asks Facebook, Google, others to remove Blue Whale links
After the second alleged Blue Whale death in India, the government has asked internet giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, WhatsApp, Yahoo and Instagram, to remove all links to the dangerous online 'challenge'. "You are requested to ensure any link of this deadly game in its own name or similar game is immediately removed," the letter from Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) said.
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.
Till now, two deaths in India have been linked to the challenge: in Mumbai, a 14-year-old boy jumped from a building, and another in West Bengal suffocated himself. Meanwhile, two teens playing the 'game' were rescued. In Indore, teachers saved a student who was trying to jump out a window. In Maharashtra, cops rescued a 14-year-old, who was on his way to complete a challenge.
In its letter, Meity noted, "It is understood that an administrator of the game uses the social media platform to invite /incite children to play this game, which may eventually lead them to take extreme steps for self-inflicting injuries including suicide."