The Blue Whale Challenge is a game that some kids in the country are being encouraged to play. The challenge targets preteens and teens. Earlier reports indicated that the challenge began by way of a YouTube video in which an anonymous instructor begins giving assignments. In total, there are 50 assignments that become increasingly more serious over time. The tasks include things like self-harm and when the participant reaches the 50th task, they are told to kill themselves.
“Over the course of 50 days, an anonymous administrator assigns kids self-harm tasks. The challenges may start by asking kids to watch a scary movie and then grow increasingly dangerous to include acts like cutting. On the 50th day, the participant is supposed to commit suicide. The game can reach kids through social-media channels like Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube and texting,” USA reports.
While this “game” originated on social media and led kids to YouTube, there have been downloadable apps made to keep this thing going. According to NBC Bay Area, there was a version of the Blue Whale Challenge available for download on Google’s Play store and was referred to as the “suicide app” in some of the reviews. The company later told NBC that the app had been removed. Even still, the app keeps popping up on different channels with different names, trying to get kids interested.
In recent weeks, at least one town in Massachusetts has warned parents that the Blue Whale Challenge. Natick Superintendent Peter Sanchioni spoke out about the challenge in an effort to raise awareness.
“I want to make families aware of a new social media app that I just learned about which could have serious implications. The Blue Whale Challenge is an app that instructs its participants (many preteens) to carry out increasingly dangerous tasks and self-harm over 50 days. Users are encouraged to tag friends on social media and challenge them to participate in the game,” Sanchioni said.
Although there have been some unconfirmed reports of kids in Russia following through with the 50th challenge, there have not been any cases (that police are aware of) in the U.S.