Trends on the internet such as the Ice-Bucket Challenge and other like it are harmless and great for raising awareness to a subject that may not have much awareness to it to begin with. But positive ‘games’ and challenges like the Ice-Bucket challenge are few and far in-between. The internet is a big place and challenges like these pop up from time to time but unfortunately they are rather dark in their nature and cause physical harm to the people who participate in these challenges. Such is the Blue Whale Challenge. This challenge has been the cause of many suicides and self-harm related incidents among teens and even young adults across the world. Players or participants are duped into following orders and eventually end up hurting themselves or even committing suicide.
The challenges are sent through messaging apps on smartphones. Messages are very easy to hide and because most messaging apps have end-to-end encryption, which makes it difficult for authorities to catch the culprits. What makes it more complicated is that teens will willingly take up this challenge and continue to do it for an extended period of time without anyone ever finding out what they are up to.
What Exactly is the Blue Whale Challenge?
The Blue Whale Challenge originated in Russia and was invented by “F57”, a death group on a European social media website. It was started by a psychology student, Philipp Budeikin who was determined to ‘clean’ society of people he said were of no value to it.
The challenge basically consists of a series of tasks that an ‘administrator’ or proponent send to a recipient or participant over a 50 day period. The first few steps involve the participant willingly give away their personal information such as pictures, addresses, social media login passwords etc. This is done just so if the participant backs out, they can be blackmailed online and their personal information can be posted everywhere. It should be made clear that the Blue Whale Challenge does not involve downloading any app or visiting any website to play the game. Participants will receive messages on apps like WhatsApp.
Participants will then willingly play the game; it begins with simple tasks such as visiting graveyards at night, standing up on rooftops, waking up early in the morning. But then the tasks get malicious and start including self-harm related activities. Tasks will then involve poking one-self with needles, carving out motifs(such as a Blue Whale) on your body with knives and other tasks related to self-harm. When the task is completed, the participant must send photographic evidence to the administrator. Participants are usually teens and pre-teens since they are easy to manipulate and administrators of the Blue Whale Challenge will target this demographic since they know how easy it is to make teens and pre-teens do what they want to.
Following are the 50 tasks a participant must complete.
- Carve with a razor “f57” on your hand; send a photo to the curator.
Wake up at 4.20 a.m. and watch psychedelic and scary videos that curator sends you.
3. Cut your arm with a razor along your veins, but not too deep, only 3 cuts, send a photo to the curator.
4. Draw a whale on a sheet of paper, send a photo to curator.
5. If you are ready to “become a whale”, carve “YES” on your leg. If not– cut yourself many times (punish yourself)
6. Task with a cipher.
7. Carve “f40” on your hand, send a photo to curator.
8. Type “#i_am_whale (rus. #я_кит) in your VKontakte status.
9. You have to overcome your fear.
10. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to a roof (the higher the better)
11. Carve a whale on your hand with a razor, send a photo to curator.
12. Watch psychedelic and horror videos all day.
13. Listen to music that “they” (curators) send you.
14. Cut your lip
15. Poke your hand with a needle many times
16. Do something painful to yourself, make yourself sick
17. Go to the highest roof you can find, stand on the edge for some time.
18. Go to a bridge, stand on the edge
19. Climb up a crane or at least try to do it
20. The curator checks if you are trustworthy
21. Have a talk “with a whale” (with another player like you or with a curator) in Skype
22. Go to a roof and sit on the edge with your legs dangling
23. Another task with a cipher.
24. Secret task
25. Have a meeting with a “whale”
26. The curator tells you the date of your death and you have to accept it
27. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to rails (visit any railroad that you can find)
28. Don’t talk to anyone all day
29. Make a vow that “you’re a whale”
30-49. Every day you wake up at 4:20 a.m., watch horror videos, listen to music that “they” send you, make 1 cut on your body per day, and talk “to a whale.”
50. Jump off a high building. Take your life.
There have a number of reported suicides around the world. From Argentina, to India, to the United States teenagers and pre-teens have committed suicide because of this challenge. A 22 year old survivor of the Blue Whale Challenge revealed details of why and how participants will continue to do the tasks. They are mentally tortured and are blackmailed into doing the tasks or else their information is leaked online and their lives may also be destroyed since the administrators know their addresses and they can leak it to the Blue Whale Challenge community.
How XNSPY can help
XNSPY allows parents and guardians to safely monitor and view sent and received messages by their children. If God forbid your children receive and start playing the Blue Whale Challenge, you can step in and nip the problem in the bud. Parents can step in before things get to the point where there is permanent damage done; XNSPY allows parents to monitor messages, videos, and call-logs in apps like WhatsApp, kik, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger.