What is the ‘Blue Whale Challenge?’
BALDWIN COUNTY, Alabama –
An Alabama county is warning parents about a game aimed at teenagers that can prove deadly. The Blue Whale Challenge, or Blue Whale Game, is a 50-day challenge that encourages students to self-harm, ending up in suicide.
The title of the game comes from massive marine animals, which some people believe to be entangled in the beaches as suicide attempts.
A Blue Whale Challenge application is reportedly available for students to download, but has been removed from the Apple iOS store and Google Play store from time to time.
Participants can even tag each other on social networks like Snapchat and invite others to play.
“It is my understanding that this very dangerous game may have already been introduced into two of our high school campuses,” Baldwin County Public Schools wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday. “As the social worker shared with me, this game or challenge began in Russia, and it is basically a challenge to get hurt for fifty days, with the intention of ending up killing you on the fiftieth day.”
The challenge has also appeared in France and Brazil in recent months, and legal authorities warn parents to remain vigilant.
Blue whale challenge administrator pleads guilty to inciting suicide
One of the men behind the so-called Blue Whale Challenge has pleaded guilty to inciting teenagers to commit suicide.
Philipp Budeikin told Russian media that his victims were “biological waste” and that he was “cleaning up society”.
Participants in the “game” are thought to set tasks longer than 50 days and the last “challenge” is for the person to take their own life.
Several UK law enforcement agencies have warned local parents that their teenage children may be participating.
As Newsbeat reported last month, an anonymous homework teacher gives individual demands like watching a horror movie or self-harm.
According to investigators What is the ‘Blue Whale Challenge?’
According to senior investigators, administrators like Budeikin tell participants to delete all evidence of the blue whale challenge on their social media accounts, Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports.
Anton Breido, head of the investigation, says his team were given evidence by a teenager who was in the final stages of the game but gave up.
“Budeikin very clearly knew what he had to do to get the result [he wanted],” he said.
“He started in 2013 and ever since he has polished his tactics and corrected his mistakes.
“Philipp and his aides at first attracted children on to VK [social network] groups by using mega-scary videos.