NEW DELHI: The government has banned Blue Whale Challenge online game that was enticing teenagers to commit suicide. But, the game is now available under other names such as 'A Silent House', 'A Sea of Whales' and 'Wake Me Up at 4:20 AM'. Cyber security experts and child psychologists suggest strict action, monitoring and use of existing provisions to make the carriers like Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo more responsible and accountable.
Through a letter dated August 11, 2017, the government directed internet majors to immediately remove the links of the dangerous online game. Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity)'s letter to the internet majors gives instructions to the internet and social medial platforms after law and Information Technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad intervened, an official source said.Blue Whale Challenge is a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete for a period of 50 days and the final task is to kill oneself. The player is also asked to share photos after finishing the challenge.
"The Cert-In should proactively track such games and make a list that should be made available to internet and social media to block it," says Sahil Bagla, a cyber security expert.Expressing concern on the availability of such deadly game on the internet, Meity said, "It is understood that an administrator of the game uses 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."
"Information Technology Act of India has enough powers to make the intermediaries like Google and Facebook to prevent from allowing such links to be hosted on their website.it requires political will, that is critical," says Pawan Duggal, a cyber law expert.In India, too, a number of deaths have been reportedly linked to this game. More than legal, psychologists suggest more parental indulgence to tackle such dangerous online games. "More parental observation, especially with kids indulging in online games is critical," says Ajay Sharma, a child psychologist.
Blue Whale Challenge
It is a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete for a period of 50 days and the final task is to kill oneself. The player is also asked to share photos after finishing the challenge