Games like Blue Whale — that has been provoking youths to commit suicide — are “completely unacceptable”, Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Prasad said the government has already issued instructions to all tech platforms to check the spread of “The Blue Whale Challenge”. Also Read - No, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram will not stop working in India (Not right now)Also Read - Ola to offer free oxygen concentrators to the needy
On July 30, a 14-year-old schoolboy Manpreet Singh Sahani allegedly walked off the fifth floor of his building in Sher-e-Punjab Colony in Andheri East in Mumbai. Also, a former Manipur minister’s son died after falling from a terrace in Delhi and the Blue Whale game is suspected to have driven him to death. A teenager in Kerala hanged himself to death allegedly while completing a Blue Whale challenge. Also Read - Pakistan blocks Facebook, Twitter and other social media apps until 3 pm
“We received several complaints related to the Blue Whale game that it has been provoking youngsters to commit suicide. Clear instructions have been issued to all tech platforms to check the spread of the Blue Whale game,” Prasad said. “I appeal to all tech platforms to strictly abide by government instructions. Such a game is completely unacceptable,” the Minister said.
The government has directed technology giants, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo to remove all links which direct users to the dangerous online game “The Blue Whale Challenge”. “You are hereby required to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or any similar game is immediately removed from your platform,” a letter sent by the Electronics and IT Ministry, dated August 11 and made available on Tuesday, read. ALSO READ: AI can detect depression, and we need it now in the Blue Whale age, more than ever
“The Blue Whale”, reportedly created by a former convict in Russia, reportedly psychologically stimulates the players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before finally taking the ‘winning’ step of killing themselves, and each task must be filmed and shared as ‘proof’. “The proponent of Blue Whale Challenge should be reported to law enforcement agencies,” the letter said.
“The Blue Whale Challenge” has reportedly claimed the lives of over 130 boys and girls across the world so far. According to experts, teenagers are more vulnerable because the virtual world allows them to act freely — without the restrictions prevalent in the real world — which seems to give them an adrenaline boost.