By: Jon Corrigan
An online game that promotes self-harm and eventually instructs participants to commit suicide has spread from Russia to the U.S., school officials in Alabama and Connecticut are warning, the Daily Caller reports.
The “Blue Whale” game, created by Philipp Budeikin, has been linked to the suicides of at least 16 schoolgirls in Russia. Budeikin, who is in jail for inciting the suicides, said he thinks of his victims as “biological waste” and told authorities the victims were “happy to die.” He also described his game as “cleansing society.”
How Blue Whale works: The game, which seems to specifically target adolescents, gives self-harming tasks to participants before instructing them to commit suicide on the 50th day.
The horrific tasks include self-harming, watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours, but these gradually get more extreme. On the 50th day, the controlling manipulators behind the game reportedly instruct the youngsters to commit suicide,” the UK Sun reported last week.
Baldwin County Public Schools in Alabama alerted parents via Facebook about the dangerous game, which they believe has infiltrated two of its campuses.
“A very dangerous game called The Blue Whale Challenge (or the Blue Whale Game) has been brought to my attention by one of our social workers. It is my understanding that this very dangerous game may have possibly already been introduced on two of our high school campuses,” the BCPS stated.
“As shared with me by the social worker, this game or challenge began in Russia, and it is basically a challenge to harm yourself for fifty days, with the intention being to ultimately kill yourself on the fiftieth day. Teenagers supposedly ‘tag’ each other on social media (Snapchat primarily) and challenge them to play. The student then downloads the Blue Whale app, which hacks into their personal information and cannot be deleted. The app originators then threaten the teenagers with harm to their families or releasing of personal information until they kill themselves,” BCPS warned parents.
The superintendent in Danbury, Conn. also sent a letter to parents about the Blue Whale Challenge, writing it has shown up on school computers in the district, Patch reports.
“While we do not know of any students who have done that, we need to make sure that parents are armed with the information necessary to protect their children,” Pascarella wrote. “We will do the same in our schools. We are checking computers and speaking with students to make sure that they are not involved or influenced.”