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How the Blue Whale Challenge Manipulates Teens

The Blue Whale is so disturbing because it uses macabre methods to prey on vulnerable, impressionable teens.

Updated
India
2 min read
How the Blue Whale Challenge Manipulates Teens
i

A teen in Madurai committed suicide on Wednesday morning, supposedly owing allegiance to the 'Blue Whale Challenge'. Some 3,000 kms away, another teen in Assam landed in a hospital bed with injuries on his arm. Reason? The 'Blue Whale Challenge', again.

Over the past month, several cases of teens losing their lives or attempting to commit suicide have made headlines, with one common thread running through- the 'Blue Whale Challenge'.

Curious to know what this sinister 'game' is, that has so many teens gripped worldwide?

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The game apparently coaxes vulnerable teens to take a series of 50 challenges ranging from waking at odd hours, to self mutilation to eventually killing themselves all the while sharing their experiences via social media with the administrators.

So far the number of deaths linked to the game is a bit hazy. A couple of deaths in the US are suspected to be related.

Russia, where the game allegedly originated, has reported roughly 16 to 30 suicides in teenage girls.

A 21-year-old man arrested in May is believed to be the originator of the game. He says his motivation was to ‘cleanse’ society. In an interview, he allegedly said:

There are people – and there is biological waste. Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society. I was cleaning our society of such people.
Philipp Budeikin, alleged creator of the Blue Whale Challenge

The Macabre Manipulation

Those who’ve played the game say they tried to quit but the administrators kept pulling them back with threats and psychological mind games.

A post by a Reddit user says he tried the Blue Whale Challenge. Here’s a snapshot of his post.

A blogger at Higgypop.com started an alternate challenge called the Pink Whale Challenge to drive young teens away from the macabre game. Each step in this game is designed to create positive emotions instead of reinforcing feelings of worthlessness.

Challenges include the following:

  • Write down five things you like about yourself.
  • Buy yourself your favourite treat or snack.
  • Write down three things you're really looking forward to.
  • Draw a picture of the happiest moment of your life.
  • Call a friend that you don't usually call for a chat.
  • Make a friend laugh, don't give up until you succeed.
  • Spend 20 minutes teaching yourself how to juggle, use the internet for help if needed.
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How to Seek Help

The game is generating interest for its morbid manipulation techniques, but the focus must remain on the fact that impressionable young people are being preyed upon and being made to give up their lives in the guise of a ‘game’.

If you have suicidal thoughts, if you feel despair or if you know someone who needs help, guide them to this list of state-wise credible mental health professionals collated by healthcollective.in.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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