The NCPCR, apex body for child rights, has urged parents and teachers to “keep a watch” on children showing abnormal and erratic behaviour due to exposure to ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, the lethal online game which is suspected to have led to suicides in Kerala and elsewhere in the country.
‘Blue Whale’ is a controversial Internet game in which a series of tasks, mostly brutal, are given to players for a period of 50 days by the administrators with a final challenge requiring them to commit suicide. The player is asked to share photos after finishing the different levels of the game. The game is spread via links on social media platforms.
More than six children across India in the age group of 12-19 years are suspected to have taken their lives playing this game within a span of two weeks.
“We appeal to parents, teachers, students and all concerned individuals to keep a close watch on all those who may be showing abnormal and erratic behaviour because they may be playing online games such as the Blue Whale Challenge,” the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) said in a press statement.
The move comes after the government asked Internet majors like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to “immediately remove” links of the deadly game from their platforms.
Law and Information and Technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has earlier warned that violation of government direction by social media platforms would be viewed “very seriously”.
Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi had also written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prasad requesting that the challenge be “removed” from the Internet.
The NCPCR said it has also written to the IT ministry thrice since May asking it to identify violators.