We Need To Stop Joking About the Blue Whale Game
When I first saw a post about the Blue Whale game, I honestly thought it was a hoax. This was because it was mostly adults in my family who were sharing these posts either through WhatsApp or Facebook which made me doubt the authenticity of this news. Unless I read something on a credible news source, I do not believe it.
But when I read about the Blue Whale challenge on various reputable publications, I realized this was a serious matter. This wasn’t another run of the mill chain message warning people about deadly consequences if they did not obey and forward it to a certain number of people.
This is incredibly real. Through my research, I learned that the game originated in Russia. A Psychology student who had been expelled from his university claims he made the challenge. The game has been linked to the deaths of around 130 youngsters in Russia. It has also been linked to one death in the United States and officials in the UK have issued warnings about the game as well.
When the term Blue Whale is searched on Instagram, the platform displays a warning, telling the person to learn more about self-harm and possibly get help.
The game is allegedly a 50-day challenge, where the unknown administrator of the game sends tasks to the player every day which involve the players causing harm to themselves. The administrator requires photographic proof to know you have completed the task. On the 50th day of the challenge, the player allegedly has to kill himself. If they fail to do so they are warned of dire consequences befalling them and their family.
The game for some reason seems to be getting incredibly popular in Pakistan and India. Albeit the matter is incredibly serious, people are still making tasteless jokes about it. In a format that is now a meme in Pakistan, people joke about how Pakistanis do not fear anything and will troll the administrator of the game instead. This is neither smart nor funny.
Usually, curiosity gets the better of people and they think they can handle the game and will not fall victim to the trap the Blue Whale Challenge sets out. People tend to think they can outwit the administrator and will not harm themselves. But things can get out of control very fast and very easily. Since there is no proper information about what the administrator challenges you to do and what exactly happens when you play the game; you never know what will happen and what you will end up doing.
It is thus a good idea to avoid this risk altogether by not downloading the game and not considering it as a joke. Joking or sharing jokes about the Blue Whale Challenge to make light of a serious situation is not only disrespectful to those who took their lives because of the game but also causes others to view the Blue Whale Challenge as a joke. This means they might not take it seriously and end up playing the game which might result in them harming themselves.
Respecting the Victims:
While a lot of people have been treating the Blue Whale Game Challenge as something hilarious, there are tweeps who have been actively trying to warn people not to fall for the Blue Whale challenge:
Just read, Blue Whale Game is coming out with other names “A Sea Of Whales”, “Wake me up at 4:20 am” & “The Silent House”. Spread the word.
— Laraib Mehtab (@Laraibmufc) September 8, 2017
Guys beware of the blue whale game.
— Mariam (@locaMariam_) September 9, 2017
Beware of that blue whale game guys. Many links are circulating through wa,don’t open any of those.
— Avinash Rathore (@being_shiva_) September 8, 2017
The lesson to take away is obvious; do not download the Blue Whale Challenge and do not ridicule it. Be empathetic and compassionate towards the victims and their families. These families are grieving over the loss of their loved ones because of this game, do not insult their grief. Don’t be insensitive to someone’s loss for the sake of a few likes or retweets!