The Delhi High Court on Tuesday ordered Facebook, Google and Yahoo to respond on a plea to remove links of Blue Whale Challenge. The court also sought responses from Centre and Delhi Police on plea seeking direction to Internet firms to immediately remove links of the online game.
Last week, a bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar had expressed concern over reports of children and “even adults” committing suicide by playing the game. The Delhi HC wondered why adults were getting influenced by the game. “If an adult is told to do a task, why would he/she go and jump from a building… we are wondering why both children and adults are doing this,” wondered the Delhi High Court.
Blue Whale Challenge is an online suicide game that supposedly originated from Russia. It is reportedly inspired from the way blue whales beach themselves on shore and die. The administrators of the online game allegedly give members a set of 50 challenges to be carried out over 50 days, with the last challenge asking the user to commit suicide. The player is asked to share photos after finishing the different levels of the game. So far, the game is suspected to have claimed six in India.
In the backdrop of these deaths, last week the NCPCR, the apex body for child rights, urged parents and teachers to “keep a watch” on children showing abnormal and erratic behaviour due to exposure to the game.
Read: What is the Blue Whale Challenge?
On Tuesday, the Haryana Children Protection Commission (HCPC) issued an advisory to all private and government schools in the state to counsel students about the risk of the Blue Whale Challenge and other similar online games. The HCPC also directed the management of all schools to educate students from class 5 to class 12 about the ‘deadly, hazardous and negative impact’ of the game, according to news agency PTI. The advisory also asked schools to keep a close tab on students showing “abnormal” behaviour.
The Association of ICSE Schools in West Bengal will organise a workshop in September for all its member schools in the city to build an awareness among students regarding the misuse of social media and the risk of ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ and similar online games.
(With inputs from PTI)