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Blue Whale game continues to spread despite the creator being behind bars
A teenage girl is accused of being behind the sick craze which has encouraged dozens of vulnerable children aged between 12 and 19 to take their own lives. The unnamed 17-year-old Russian girl who is now behind bars, threatened to kill her victims or their family members if they failed to obey orders to complete the tasks given under the Blue Whale challenge.

A 21-year-old man was also arrested near Moscow for inciting young girls to take their own lives. According to Russian investigators, the female "death group administrator" played the game originally but could not complete the challenge.

Later, she choose to become the admin of suicidal Blue Whale challenge and allegedly invented the 50 steps, where daily tasks start off easy such as listening to certain genres of music, waking up at odd hours and then escalate to carving out shapes on one's skin, etc.

Philipp Budeikin, 22, a former student of psychology who was expelled from his university, claims to be the inventor of the game with a purpose to incite those who deemed themselves as having no value to commit suicide.

The game came into spotlight after a Russian journalist in his article linked many unrelated suicides to the Blue Whale game. This game, as claimed, exists in several countries. Blue Whale game has also made inroads in India too with a disturbingly large number of audience. According to a Google Trends report of the last 12 months, India has seen the highest number of searches for the Blue Whale Challenge in the world. Shockingly, India has been holding on to this infamous rank consistently for the last three months, with a 100 per cent surge in searches. Until recently, Kolkata led the list of world cities that registered the highest number of game related searches. However, it has now been replaced by Kochi at number one. Now, while Thiruvanthapuram is at number two, Kolkata has dropped down to the third position. Another worrying aspect of the report is that the top 32 spots of the list are held be Indian cities.

More than 10 children across India in the age group of 12-19 years have taken their lives within a span of last two months. Its really shocking to note that it's still uncertain how a participant plays the game. Children can't access it through their smart phones through app stores or on social media platforms. It is shared among secretive groups on social media networks. The creators seek out their victims and send them invitations.

Although the government has asked companies such as Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to immediately take down any links leading to the deadly game, it is still unclear how these companies would implement the government's directions as the game is not publicly available or freely downloadable. It is a social media phenomenon where conversations about this take place secretively in closed social media groups. You can only be the part of this game if an administrators contacts you.

The question arises that even though the so-called admin is now behind bars, will the game stop being played? It's high time parents and teachers guide their children for using technology sensibly. UNICEF has also issued an advisory to parents and teachers to guide their children.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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