Blue Whale Challenge, sounds like an animal protection event or a harmless game. However, this challenge killed 130 teenagers in Russia between 2015 and 2016. I had read the relevant article online as shortly as the incident was exposed by the media, and was shocked by the entire case. This Blue Whale Challenge was reported to be an online tasks game which targeted teenagers who played social media, and an administrator offers series of tasks to participants over 50 days.
How death is caused?
Andrew Rossow described how this challenge worked, “The daily tasks start off fairly easy–listening to certain genres of music to watching horror-style movies. As the days go on, the tasks grow increasingly difficult such as staying up until all hours of the night to mutilating the skin along with carving a “whale” symbol onto their arm. The final task and end to the game is the person committing suicide.”
Sounds ridiculous right? Why would we suicide because a stranger told you to do so? But the truth is, around 130 teens obey the rules and killed themselves during the game. A report by BBC shows that this game initiated from Russia’s largest social network VKontakte, and most of the users are teens fascinated by darker subject matter: depression, loneliness and suicide. A 21-year-old man Philipp Budeikin take advantage of those kids’ psychology and initiate this suicide game, and sadly it works. He continues to instill negative emotions to them and emphasize they are useless or no needed thus to destroy the participants’ mind. He was arrested in November 2016 and pleaded guilty, but the lost lives will never come back.
Perhaps while social media is developing, we should also pay more attention to teenagers’ mental health and guide them on the right path. Hope a similar tragedy will not happen again!
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