NEW DELHI : In the wake of teen suicides being reported from across the country, the Centre has directed internet majors - including Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo - to immediately remove links to the controversial online game Blue Whale Challenge. Proponents of the “deadly” game must also be reported to law-enforcement agencies, the government added. Blue Whale Challenge is a game in which a player is given certain tasks to complete for a period of 50 days. The players are also asked to share pictures after finishing each challenge.
The final challenge, however, is to commit suicide. At least four suicides by teenagers this month have been blamed on this game while several others reportedly attempted to take their lives but were stopped by alert parents and others. “The administrator of the game uses social media to invite children to play this game,” the Ministry of Information Technology pointed out in a letter to international internet majors.
This could lead children to take “extreme steps” for “self-inflicted injuries, including suicides,” Arvind Kumar, director of the ministry, wrote in the letter, also marked to the Prime Minister’s Office. Cyber security experts, however, claim the game is now available under other names to teenagers, such as ‘A Silent House’, ‘A Sea of Whales’ and ‘Wake me up at 4:20 AM’.