The Blue Whale saga | Sunday Observer

The Blue Whale saga

The blue whale saga which took its first victim in 2015 has appeared to have entered Sri Lanka. However, it seems the game has failed to claim any victims, locally. Institutions such as, the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) has issued warnings and guidelines to parents requesting them to be vigilant of their children’s behaviour and their internet movements.

Background

This game which cannot be downloaded, does not operate through an application on the phone or software, but rather through communication.

According to information unearthed so far, it says, the game finds you rather than you finding it. So that the administrators of the game will approach a person once they have gathered that he or she is eligible or a suitable character. It is reported that the game is meant for weak personalities. Individuals chosen are given an activity each day, to be performed. At the end of forty nine days the fiftieth task will ask the player to commit suicide.

The initial activities have not been found to be difficult ones. Some of the identified activities include, listening to a music belonging to a certain genre, or waking up at a specified time. Some cases have been identified where the player has been asked to wake up at 4.22 am and climb up the roof, or wake up at 4.20 a.m. and watch a scary movie, CERT – Mauritius stated in its security warning issued in August this year. With each passing day, it can be said, the tasks seem to get more difficult and includes hurting the person, physically.

Some include, scratching out a whale on the hand, watching scary videos the whole day, cutting your lip, or hurting yourself in some other way, going to a high point designated or available and standing at the edge, the report states, and the list goes on. Another task requires the player to watch horror movies continuously for a whole day.

Other than such sinister activities it requires the player to speak to another Blue Whale player through an internet communication method and sometimes even meet up with another player.

Origin

According to research the game was named Blue Whale due to the fact that the animal beaches up and dies.

Philipp Budeikin,a Russian and a failed psychiatric student, found a way to make money when he developed this challenge, the Blue Whale Killer. “Budeikin who was expelled from his university has said, he invented the game to “clean” the society of people who are of no value to society.”

The 21 year old was later convicted for inciting suicide.

With Budeikin, another Russian girl, aged 17 was also detained and accused of being a mastermind of the game. According to reports, she, a participant earlier was later found to be responsible for introducing the challenges that instructed players to harm themselves.

Many deaths were reported starting from Russia, where the game was found to have originated. Other incidents were reported globally, including in countries such as, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United States and Pakistan.

Although the game was banned in India, later on it surfaced under different names such as ,‘A Silent House’, ‘A Sea of Whales’ and ‘Wake Me Up at 4:20 AM’ Indian media reports claimed.

The Indian Government, through its Ministry of Electronics and IT, writing to all internet majors requested them to remove links to this dangerous game.

Blue Whale in Sri Lanka

So far, no incident has been reported. Speaking to the Sunday Observer, head of Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT), Roshan Chandraguptha said, they have not received any complaints pertaining to the game or any such incidents locally.

“Other than media reports we have not received any complaints from the general public or the police,” he said.

However, he requests parents and responsible adults to be vigilant of the internet movements of children and teenagers in order to prevent such suicide games taking any lives.

“The internet is a place where you find all kinds of people, including people of unstable mentalities. Therefore, it is important, as individuals, communities and parents, that we take measures to make the individual environment safe,” Chandragupta said.

He said, incidents that had occurred elsewhere in the world too has failed to prove the connection between the game and the suicide incidents.

Another website, Snopes.com which involves in researching and has grown into the oldest and largest fact checking site on the internet, rates this game and its causation to suicides, as unproven. 

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