Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Remove blue whale game immediately: Govt


PUNE: The deadly 'Blue Whale Challenge', an online game which urges players to fulfil self-harming challenges resulting in suicide, has already claimed a few victims across the country, alarming the authorities. In a bid to stop it, the government has directed social media and internet companies such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft to immediately remove the game, which has claimed 100 lives across the world, from their platforms.

In an August 11 letter to Google India, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft India and Yahoo India, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has instructed, “It is understood that an administrator of the game uses social media platforms to invite/incite children to play this game, which may eventually lead the child to take extreme steps for self-inflicting injuries, including suicide.”

The ministry directed the companies to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or any similar game was immediately removed from their platforms and the proponent of this game should be reported to law enforcement agencies. The trend of this game becoming popular in the country first came to light when a 14-year-old boy jumped off the fifth floor of a building in Mumbai earlier this month.

According to the police, his friends linked the death to the Blue Whale Challenge. Last week, the staff of a Dehradun school stopped a student from killing himself whereas in another incident, Pune police rescued a boy who was on his way to completing the challenge.

The latest casualty to the game is believed to be a Class 10 student from Paschim Medinipur district in West Bengal, who allegedly committed suicide last week.


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