What is the Blue Whale Challenge? Everything you need to know about the deadly blue whale suicide game

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The Blue Whale game or Blue Whale Challenge is believed to be a suicide game wherein a group of administrators or a certain curator gives a participant a task to complete daily — for a period of 50 days — the final of which is the participant committing suicide. Participants are expected to share photos of the challenges/tasks completed by them.

These daily tasks start off easy — such as listening to certain genres of music, waking up at odd hours, watching a horror movie, among others, and then slowly escalate to carving out shapes on one’s skin, self-mutilation and eventually suicide.

The horrifyingly dangerous game has been linked to at least 130 teen deaths across Russia and police in the UK have now started warning parents about the challenge

There is still uncertainty over how a participant plays the game. While some say the user has to install some app on their smart phone, others say it’s via social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook where the administrators get in touch with the participant after those interested throw out postings on social media asking for a “curator”. A number of different hashtags— #bluewhalechallenge, #curatorfindme, #i_am_whale — act as signals for the anonymous curators.

It must be noted, however, that there still is no confirmation of the existence of the game, and suicides linked to it are from personal accounts of families/friends of those deceased who claim they have seen their loved ones performing tasks. While reports of suicides linked to the game have surfaced across the globe, authorities claim that the origin appears to be in Russia, which has reportedly seen about 130 related deaths and at least two arrests.

Schools as well as police officials in Europe and America have begun issuing advisories to parents urging them to be vigilant and to keep an eye out on what their children are sharing on their social media accounts.

What is worrying is that despite the common knowledge that the deadly game started and spread on VKontakte, which is a hugely popular site in Russia, no checks were brought in place to contain the network. One can easily create a VKontakte account . And once you log in, and search for #bluewhale, you come across psychotic, extremely depressing messages of young people desperately wanting to play the game and end their lives. Their profiles are as macabre as it can get. There are pictures of self-injury, ghosts and horrifying sketches of people bleeding and trying to kill themselves.

“Parents should talk with their children and emphasise that they can make their own choices and discuss ways of how to say no.”