No child's play: 5 facts about the deadly Blue Whale Challenge
Friday 18 August 2017

No child's play: 5 facts about the deadly Blue Whale Challenge

What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

* Blue Whale is not a downloadable game, application or software

* It's a social media phenomenon which enters social media networks from secretive groups

* Examples of social media phenomenon include the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the Harlem Shake

How the game works

* The challenge allegedly started in secret groups on Russian social media networks

* It is said to involve 50 challenges which are monitored by a curator. They include watching horror movies and inflicting self-harm

* They are expected to take photos of them undertaking the challenge and upload them as proofs for the curator's approval. The last challenge is to commit suicide

Is Blue Whale real?

* There are unverifiable claims that over 100 teenagers killed themselves because of the challenge, but there is no evidence to suggest that the number is real

* Several fact-checking websites and media watchdogs have dismissed data on deaths due to lack of evidence

* In 2016, Filipp Budeykin, a 'curator' of the challenge, was arrested for aiding suicides. The 22-year-old who later pleaded guilty said the victims were "biological waste" and that he was "cleansing society"

Action taken so far

* The government has directed top internet platforms - Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo - to immediately take down any links leading to the 'deadly game'