- Expelled Russian psychology student created app targeting vulnerable youth
- He pleaded guilty to inciting suicide, said he was just cleansing society of ‘biological waste’
- 130 deaths in Russia, self-harm cases in several countries linked to game
Word of advice: If you see an app called the Blue Whale Challenge, don’t download it.
Also, if you’re a parent, closely monitor your children’s activities online.
Authorities from Russia and elsewhere across the world have issued this warning in light of a trending application which goads vulnerable children and teens into killing themselves.
The macabre game, called the “Blue Whale Challenge”, forces players to complete a series of bizarre tasks in a span of 50 days. They include self-mutilation, waking up at unusual hours, and watching horror movies. Closely monitored by a “curator” or “administrator”, the emotionally and mentally exhausted players are then goaded into taking their lives by jumping off a roof.
Believed to be a reference to the phenomena of whales beaching themselves on purpose, the Blue Whale Challenge game has been linked to 130 deaths in Russia, one in Kenya, and several reported cases of self-harm in several European and South American countries.
Countries like the US and UK have already issued advance warnings to parents amid the game’s growing global notoriety.
One of the game’s creators, expelled psychology student Philipp Budeikin, has since pleaded guilty to inciting people to commit suicide.
Currently incarcerated in a St. Petersburg jail, the 21-year-old Russian said he created the game to “cleanse society of biological waste”.
“There are people, and there is biological waste,” the Mirror quoted him as saying in a chilling interview. “Those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause or will cause only harm to society.”
Budeikin, who started an online death group called F57, said he had been tinkering with the idea of creating the lethal app for years.
“I’d been thinking through this idea for five years. It was necessary to distinguish normal people from biological rubbish,” he said.
For those undergoing an emotional crisis and need help, you can contact the following numbers:
Manila Lifeline Centre: Call 02-896-9191 or 0917-854-9191.
The Natasha Goulbourn Foundation: Call 02-804-HOPE (4673) or 0917-558-HOPE (4673). You may also use their toll-free number for all Globe and TM subscribers, at 2919. Visit their website athttp://www.ngf-hope.org/contact-us/