The Supreme Court on Friday directed national broadcaster Doordarshan to prepare a programme on the “evil impact” of online game Blue Whale Challenge and telecast it during prime time. The apex court said the programme must be aired by private television channels as well.
The court was hearing a petition filed by a 73-year-old Chennai advocate NS Ponnaiah who has blamed the game for 100 suicides throughout the country in recent times. The Centre, meanwhile, informed the apex court that it has set up an expert committee to look into the issue and will file a report on the matter within three weeks.
The ‘suicide game’, which has its origins in Russia, asks online participants to complete daily tasks over a 50-day period. While some tasks ask the users to listen to a certain kind of music sent by the curators, some challenges are dangerous and demand the players to cut their lips and poke their hands with a needle. Participants must share proof — photos — of having completed the challenges/tasks. The 50th task is literally the final — participants have to kill themselves.
The game is played through social media sites including the popular Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where a user searches for a curator or administrator who then gives them a challenge to perform each day for a period of 50 days. The government has already asked Internet majors like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to “immediately remove” links of “this deadly game” from their platforms.