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Everything You Need To Know About The Blue Whale Challenge

The Blue Whale Challenge has reportedly taken over 100 lives around the world. If you need help for the Blue Whale Challenge, follow the links to the support services throughout the article. IMPORTANT - Cybersmile does NOT provide emergency suicide prevention, please contact your local Samaritans service or medical professional if you feel that you might harm yourself or anybody else.

What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

The Blue Whale Challenge is an online phenomenon that entered the media spotlight for being a brutal ‘Suicide game’ among teenagers. According to reports in the media, the challenge was created in 2013 by a former psychology student named Philipp Budeikin who created it to “cleanse” society by pushing people to commit suicide who he deemed to have ‘little or no intellectual value’. Although Budeikin was arrested, charged and jailed in 2016, the game still continues to gain a following of individuals that have taken the promotion of the challenge into their own hands. Reports suggest that the Blue Whale Challenge has taken more than 100 lives around the world.

How does the Blue Whale Challenge work?

Because the challenge is almost myth based, an accurate description of the stages of the Blue Whale Challenge is very difficult. Online reports suggest that the ‘game’ starts by an individual finding a target online to convince them to play the ‘game’ (most often the targets are vulnerable or young people). They then assign one task per day to the victim, over the course of fifty days. The tasks reportedly range from watching horrific videos sent to them by the ‘administrator’, engraving or cutting a whale into their arm and finally, ‘voluntarily’ ending their life.
The combination of vulnerability of the victim, along with widespread media coverage of the Blue Whale Challenge means that people can become trapped by the belief that there will be severe repercussions for not fulfilling the orders of the ‘administrator’. When they start the challenge, the platform that they are using when introduced to the ‘game’ supposedly infects their mobile device or computer with malware and viruses, that the ‘administrator’ puts on there. The victims then believe that once this malware is active, the administrator has access to everything on the victim’s device or computer including personal information and photos. If they don’t want to play the game anymore or refuse to undertake in the challenges, the ‘administraor’ will threaten them and make it feel almost impossible for them to quit. Because most of the “players” of this despicable challenge are young and vulnerable people, they feel pressured into completing the challenge to the end – ending their own life.

Signs your child might be doing the Blue Whale Challenge

If you are concerned or suspect that your child is participating in the Blue Whale Challenge, it is important that you act upon your concern in case your suspicions are correct. Some signs that your child may be taking part in the challenge could be sleep deprivation, checking their mobiles frequently, self-harming/wearing long sleeved, loose clothing to disguise self-harm or suddenly talking to strangers online. These are generic signs that aren’t exclusively linked to the Blue Whale Challenge but they could be. Cybersmile provides a Global Support Service for further help with the Blue Whale Challenge or any other online abuse related issues.

How to prevent the Blue Whale Challenge from affecting you

The ‘administrator’ supposedly “recruits” people through social media platforms and over the phone. There are ways to prevent them from getting in contact with you or gaining access to your personal information. You can change your privacy settings on most online accounts so only you or your close friends can see it. You can also make sure that you know everyone on your friends list – only accept friend requests from people you personally know and make sure you don’t accept phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize or are calling from a blocked/anonymous telephone number. On most of the major social media platforms, when anything related to this challenge is searched, support and help services are normally suggested.

How to stop playing the Blue Whale Game

If you have fallen victim to this ‘suicide game’ then firstly, you should stop playing or completing tasks given to you by the ‘administrator’ immediately. It’s important that you talk to someone you can trust – build a support network and also block and report anyone trying to make you complete tasks or participate in the challenge in any way. If they threaten to release personal information about you or people you care about, then contact your local authorities as this is a criminal offense in some states/countries and taken very seriously. If you are unsure of how to stop being part of the challenge, remember there are people that can help you. Cybersmile offer a Global Support Service that can offer you the help and support you need to get free of the Blue Whale Challenge (Cybersmile does not provide emergency suicide prevention, please contact your local Samaritans service or medical professional if you feel like you might harm yourself or somebody else).

The most important thing to remember is that, you are not alone. If you are taking part in the Blue Whale Challenge, you are not a failure and you are not trapped – YOU CAN STOP! With the help of the people around you, you will overcome this.

A huge thank you to Cybersmile contributor Amy for such an informative post. If you are affected by the Blue Whale Challenge or any other kind of online abuse – we can help! Visit our Cyberbullying and Online Abuse Help Center for practical help and tips or alternatively, you can use our Total Access Support section to find out about the various ways we can help you with your particular problem. To learn more about Cybersmile and the work we do, please explore the suggestions below.

What are your thoughts on The Blue Whale Challenge? Tweet us @CybersmileHQ.