The Deadly Blue Whale Challenge Claims 130 Lives
As adults, using the Internet has always been a challenge for us. From privacy issues to data manipulation, from fear mongering to spreading hate, our online challenges don’t seem to recede anytime soon. Now imagine teens and young minds being the victim to psychopaths, killers, murderers, pedophiles on the internet. Imagine a young teenager being forced to jump off to their death because some random administrator of a game told them so. Imagine hundreds of deaths across 20 countries, from the US to India, Russia to China all because of a game.
What is the Blue Whale Challenge?
The Blue Whale Challenge is an Internet game that originated from the Russian social network Vkontakte where a group calling itself as the ‘death-group,’ acted as administrators set up a game of 50-tasks carried out over a time period of two months. Within the time period, players are asked to perform harrowing tasks as waking up at 4:20 every morning to watch horror movies, listening to music set by the administrator, drawing the blue whale with a blade on your hand and finally in the last act, killing yourself.
Part of the game is psychological manipulation of the mind and part of it is based on actual verbal threats. Teens were, ‘forced,’ to kill themselves or their families would be harmed. Teens left suicide notes claiming they had no option but to follow the administrators and fulfill the tasks. To date, 130 teen deaths have been linked to the challenge. It is to be noted that this is a challenge and not a game, hence there will be no app or web links to it. Players are recruited to a group and targets are selected after an extensive process carried out by group administrators.
The Creator Behind the Challenge Arrested
There have been three major arrests, all in Russia for the perpetrators of the crime. Three people at least have been arrested for inciting suicide and encouraging self-harm. Of the three, the founder is alleged to be Philipp Budeikin, a psychology student who developed the game as a form of, ‘cleansing society from biological waste.’ A report in the DailyMail states that plenty of Russian girls fell in love with Philipp and grew obsessed with the Blue Whale game where they happily obeyed his orders.
The waking up at 4:20 was one such deliberate attempt to over-exhaust victims and make them unable to make clear decisions. They were woken up at the time to watch gruesome pictures, videos, horror movies and anything unpleasant the administrator would force them to. All of this would start through acquiring people in a closed group and hand-picking the weakest of them to go forward with the tasks. Budeikin feels no remorse and believes, ‘they were dying happy. I was giving them what they didn’t have in real life: warmth, understanding, connections.’
A 17-year old Russian game in a recent arrest for being the administrator of the death-group. Similarly, a 26-year old man, Ilya Sidorov was also arrested from Moscow for encouraging vulnerable teenagers to harm themselves and commit suicide.
If the Creators Were Arrested, Why is the Challenge Still Around?
Quite simply because the game has been taken on by different death groups from around the world. It is still lurking out there and even though the creators have been arrested, the idea exists. This is why it is extremely important for parents to be very particular of their children’s activities on the internet. The victims of the Blue Whale game have not been mentally strong or active teens but rather those who were suffering from depression, breakups or family issues. These were teens who needed the attention of their adults and the lack of it caused them to be associated with people who easily destroyed them.