INDIA BANS ONLINE GAME ‘BLUE WHALE CHALLENGE’

Taking a swift action against growing threat to children from ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ online game, the Government has banned this suicidal game and warned all those promoting it with strict action …

NEW DELHI, JULY 14, 2017: With growing concern over children’s well being, Ministry of Electronics and IT on Monday banned online suicide game ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ and asked all social media platforms and App providers not to allow the game and activities related to the game on their platform.

Similarly, Internet service providers (ISPs) have also been asked to keep on the developments related to this dangerous online game that exhorts and forces children to commit suicide and block all websites and URLs that are promoting this game and App.

Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has issued directions in this regard and warned strict against those who are found allowing this game on their platform or promoting this fatal game. All App providers have been asked to withdraw this game from their platforms with immediate effect, while officials in the ministry have been told to keep a watch on social media to see that no kid falls in the trap of this deadly game.

The blue whale game is a 50-day challenge which demands that players complete tasks given by an anonymous “handler”. The “handler” instructs the players to cause self-harm, leading up to suicide. This game has so far led to nearly 100 deaths in the US, China and other countries. In India too reports of children committing suicide due to the game has come up.

The lethal trend in the country came to light when a 14-year-old boy jumped off the fifth floor of a building in Mumbai earlier this month. According to the police, his friends linked the death the challenge. A class 10 student from West Midnapore allegedly committed suicide last week and is suspected to be the latest casualty of this fatal game. Last week, the staff of a Dehradun school stopped a class five student from killing himself and Pune Police rescued a boy who was on his way to complete the challenge.

ISP Association of India President Rajesh Chharia said though they were keeping a watch on suspicious URLs and sites promoting the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ but could not take action due to lack of government directions in this connections. But now the Ministry have issues orders and ISPAI will take a pro-active approach that this dangerous game is effectively blocked on the Internet.

Earlier in the day Union Minister Maneka Gandhi asked the Home Ministry and MEITY to immediately remove ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ game from the social media. She asked the government to act following suicide of a class 10 student from West Midnapore.

“@Manekagandhibjp on Monday took up the matter with Home Minister @rajnathsingh and IT Minister @rsprasad and has requested that the challenge be removed from social media by suitable intervention,” the Ministry of Child and Development said in a series of tweets.

Similarly, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had demanded immediate ban on the death game.


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