CHENNAI: Even forwarding the internet links relating to the notorious Blue Whale Challenge would amount to an “illegal act” and “will be punished under law”, a press release from the office of the Director-General of Police said on Tuesday.“The general public and the internet users should refrain from forwarding any online links related to this game and make someone vulnerable. Any such act is illegal and will be punished as per the law,” the release said. “They are also advised not to forward any such viral messages that originated without credible sources and discussed the game.”
The police release has come in the backdrop of several alleged suicide attempts prompted by Blue Whale Challenge. It has warned parents and teachers to observe children’s behavior closely.“Some of the most common signs (of involvement in the game) are mood swings, isolation from friends and family, dwindling interest in studies, falling grades, loss of appetite and sleep.”“It is clear that the children in the age group of 12-19 years are the most vulnerable group,” the police said.
“According to the psychologists, the children who play such online games tend to stay by themselves, stop interacting with family and friends, often talk about running away from home and even about death. There will be changes in their eating and/or sleeping habits,” the police said.
The game is technically not an application-based game that can be easily downloaded from websites or official play stores. However, information is allegedly available on some internet communities or are available on websites with seemingly harmless names. When it comes to tackling an instance where someone has been found playing the game, the police reiterated the need for counselling as well as police intervention.
“They (parents and teachers) are advised to stop them (children) from using internet from any devices and to inform the incident to local police, besides providing psychological counselling to the player through the government hospitals/NGOs,” the release said.