((*Note, I did not write this myself, however, this is copied from a news article but written in my own words. Please read this Journal fully before you comment. Thank you.))
The dangerous game known as the 'Blue Whale Challenge' has been linked to almost 130 teen deaths in Russia and now police in the UK have started to warn parents about the challenge.
What is the Blue Whale Online Suicide Game?
The Blue Whale suicide challenge is thought to be an online social media group which is encouraging people, mostly younger people, to kill themselves. There are even hundreds of thousands of posts relating to the sick trend on popular social media sites such as Instagram.
It’s believed a group administrator assigns daily tasks to members, which they have to complete in 50 days.
The horrific tasks include self-harming, watching horror movies, waking up at unusual hours, and going without sleep, but these gradually get more extreme.
On the 50th day, the controlling manipulators behind the game reportedly instruct the players to commit suicide.
The NSPCC say that children should not be pressured into following the crowd and should be able to stay safe.
A spokesperson said: “Children can find it difficult to stand up to peer pressure but they must know it’s perfectly okay to refuse to take part in crazes that make them feel unsafe or scared.
“Parents should talk with their children and emphasize that they can make their own choices and discuss ways of how to say no.
“Reassuring a child that they can still be accepted even if they don’t go along with the crowd will help stop them doing something that could hurt them or make them uncomfortable.”
Is Blue Whale in the UK?
Essex Police have informed a local school in Basildon about this Blue Whale challenge and the headteacher wrote to parents about it.
The letter, sent by Woodlands School in Basildon was seen by Essex Live and was read: “We have discovered a game through the police that we feel you should be aware of.
“It is called The Blue Whale Challenge and is played via many social media platforms.”
No deaths in Britain have been linked to the game so far, but police officers have posted online warnings to parents.
Devon and Cornwall Police PCSO Kirsty Down tweeted: “Whoever created this horrible game is sick!
“Parents: Please be aware of this ‘game’ talk to your children about it if concerned.”
How Many Teenage Deaths Have Been Linked to the Blue Whale in Russia?
The police are said to be probing a mass of suicides in Russia which they fear may be linked to the online craze. But as of yet the Blue Whale Challenge has not yet been proven to be directly responsible for any of the deaths.
Investigative newspaper, Novava Gazeta, reported: “We have counted 130 suicides of children that took place between November 2015 to April 2016. Almost all these children were members of the same internet groups and lived in good, happy families.”
Two schoolgirls, Yulia Konstantinova, 15, and Veronika Volkova, 16, fell to their deaths by jumping off a 14 storey building.
An unnamed 15-year-old girl has also been critically injured after falling onto snowy ground from a fifth floor flat in the city of Krasnoyarsk, also Siberia. Two days earlier, a 14-year-old girl from Chita was reported to have thrown herself under a train.
A 13 year old boy was also stopped from killing himself after he was spotted perching on the edge of a roof in Lviv, Ukraine.
Yulia left a note saying “End” on her social media page after she posted a picture of a big blue whale.
A family raced to stop a 15-year-old girl from killing herself, and now the young girl is currently recovering in a hospital in Barcelona.
The Russian parliament proposed a bill bringing about criminal responsibility for the creation of professional suicide groups on social medias. This will, of course, need to be signed by the President Vladimir Putin and would see those who incited others to commit suicide jailed for up to five years.
What are police doing to investigate Blue Whale related deaths?
Police are said to have launched a probe into the sick craze sweeping Russia – now the suicide capital of the world.
It was reported that two teenage boys were arrested by police at the scene after supposedly filming the tragic double suicide of Yulia and Veronika.
The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a probe on “incitement to suicide” regarding the death of the pair.
In Krasnoyarsk, law enforcement have recently opened three criminal cases of incitement to suicide involving schoolgirls via the groups on social media.
In all three cases, the teenagers were thankfully rescued.
One local school director told police he had received an anonymous call saying a student had joined a “group of death” and planned soon to kill herself later.
The police identified the girl who explained that she had joined a “game” and had been given “tasks” by the administrator of the group.
She thankfully did not obey the commands that involved self-harm, but she fears others did.
In the Chita case, transport police confirmed the game is a possible “cause of death”.
Last year, an alleged ringleader named as 21-year-old Philipp Budeikin was detained, and he has been charged with organizing
eight groups between 2013 and 2016 which have “promote suicide”.
Some 15 teenagers committed suicide, and another five were rescued at the last moment, according to the case against him.
What is Instagram Doing to Stop the Game From Spreading?
Instagram has started showing users a warning when they search for pictures relating to the Blue Whale.
If/When you search for the term 'Blue Whale Challenge' on the network, a notification will appear that reads: “Posts with words or tags you’re searching for often encourage behavior that can cause harm and even lead to death.
“If you’re going through something difficult, we’d like to help.”
But directly underneath the post it gives the option to “see posts anyway”.
If you click this option you will see many shocking pictures of self-harm and even cruel jokes about the sick game once you click through. Some include pools of blood on the floor, while others appear to show a whale carved onto an arm.
((I'm sorry this wasn't exactly a happy post but I just thought I might as well post something like this to try and keep others away from it, however, apparently police in Moscow have arrested the 'mastermind' behind this all so hopefully there will be nothing more of this again, because this is quite depressive, even I have to admit that. I thank you if you read the whole way through though. Remember; Even though it might feel like others don't care and aren't there to support you, there is always someone that will be there to listen and to guide you through the darkest of times, even if it doesn't feel like it. So stand tall, and just look for all of those supporting smiles, because there are people there for you, even if it may not feel that way.))