Internet has psychologically penetrated in our lives making it a boon when used in the right sense as it makes our lives way easy than imagined. On the other side it is referred to as a bane because we are so dependent on it that at times it nearly costs our lives. In past few months around the world, tension was seen arousing with a game that took the internet by storm, claiming innocent lives of several teens around the world.
The beginning of the contagious “ Blue Whale”.
The game reportedly started in Russia in 2013 with ‘F57 ‘, one of the names of the so-called “death group” of VKontakte — Russia’s largest social network — and allegedly caused its first suicide in 2015. Philipp Budeikin, a former psychology student who was expelled from the university, claimed to have invented the game with a purpose of “cleanse society” by pushing to suicide those he deemed to be of no value.
Mystery behind name “Blue Whale”
The name came into existence sheerly because of a lot of Blue whales which swim near the sea shore without any particular reason, end being washed upon the shore, just like committing suicide. Beached Blue whales die due to dehydration or drowning due to their own weight by collapsing when the low tides cover their blow holes.There is also a belief that the name is inspired by a Russian song “Burn”. The song is about a whale which is trapped in a net and is unable to break off.
The growing popularity of this gruesome epidemic game.
In 2016, this game attained popularity in Russia when a reporter reported that the game had started claiming lives of a lot of teenagers, creating a wave of popularity due to this report worldwide. Later, Budeikin was arrested and charged guilty of the same and was sentenced to three years of life imprisonment for inciting atleast 16 teenagers to death. This lead to Russia renewing a worldwide concern about the same. Teen deaths around the world have been linked to this game, though not many have been confirmed. According to a Russian media, it is said that this Social Media game has been responsible for the suicide deaths of about 130 young people in Russia from November 2015 to April 2016. The very first incident took place in 2015, when a girl named Rina Palenkova shared a selfie just before stepping in front of a train.
How does the game work?
The administrators of this game find players through death groups set up on VK.com. Once a player signs up , they are given a leader to control their activities and give them tasks and these people agree to follow the instructions over the course of 50 days, These can be simple tasks listening to a certain song, watching horror movies and waking up at odd hours to much more extreme requests like slicing the outline of a whale in their skin. The first challenge usually comes at 4:20 am. Every time you accomplish a task, you must provide photographic or video proof of completion to the admin. By posting on social networks using certain hashtags or joining to certain groups.
Active Prevention measures.
The most vulnerable prey for this game are the teenagers, whose hormones take control of them over their intelligence at such an age. They want to do something thrilling and become popular through social media channels seems to be one of the easiest options to indulge in this kind of popularity stunts. Hence, it is important that a cyber safety education be imparted in youngsters by teachers and parents. teens should exercise more caution before sharing any personal information such as their address or pictures on their profile because this gives cyber criminals a chance to bully and threaten them. Also, users should be more careful before joining vague groups, as their online footsteps can be tracked.
Recently it is reported that an 18-year-old Pakistani boy, Waseem Gul, has developed an anti-Blue Whale app. The purpose of this app is to make people realize the importance of life and bring positivity around them. This app, too, includes 50 tasks but all the challenges are created to make people’s lives better. Tasks like do 50 Pushups, make someone feel good etc are added to these lists so that people value their as well as others lives.Amazing thing coming from a 18 year old boy who knows the true value of life at such a young age.
In this digital age, Internet usage has become debatable as it is a boon but also bane. Given, appropriately used leads to overall development but when used to cause harm it’s nearly costs us our life. It’s time be wise and be more mature in our actions and decisions.
Stop being a fool and value your life.
Be a Blue whale in you life, not a prey to it.
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