NEW DELHI – The Indian government asked all tech platforms on Wednesday to erase the game “Blue Whale Challenge,” which has been said to induce teenagers to commit suicide, following the deaths of at least three minors allegedly linked to this phenomenon.
“Clear instructions have been issued to all the technology platforms that they must delink this game immediately because under the Indian IT (Information Technology) ecosystem no initiative shall be permitted which provokes young boys to commit suicide,” IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a press conference.
Without providing details, the minister said that the government had taken very tough measures against the Blue Whale game, which starts with an invitation through Facebook or Twitter.
“This is plainly unacceptable and I would appeal to all the platforms to abide by the directions which the IT department has given. It is important, any violation will be viewed very seriously,” the minister added.
On July 30, a 14-year-old jumped to his death from the fifth floor of a building in western Mumbai, allegedly influenced by the game, while the authorities were investigating at least two other cases that they suspect are related to the challenge.
This game, directed at teenagers on social networks, consists of completing 50 challenges proposed by a curator, including watching horror movies at odd hours, cutting oneself in the arms or legs or standing on high places like bridges or buildings, with the last challenge being suicide.
The Blue Whale Challenge apparently originated in Russia last year and has spread to Brazil, Colombia and Chile, among other countries.