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“I Was Only Cleaning The Society of Biological Waste”, Says Killer As The Blue Whale Challenge Continues to Claim Lives Around The World

Games and challenges played via social media are not a new phenomenon. The ALS-Ice bucket challenge had been widely accepted and performed by people worldwide. However, this new challenge is quite the opposite- you play and you die!

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The blue whale challenge is an online phenomenon that currently plagues the world.
The last task of the 50-day Blue Whale Challenge is suicide. (Representational image) Pixabay
  • Children around the world in the grip of an online exploitative game called The Blue Whale Challenge
  • Originating in Russia in 2013, the game is rumored to have claimed more than 100 lives worldwide
  • The Russian game has a 50 day challenge, which ultimately ends with suicide.

August 3, 2017 : Rina Palenkova (Russia) was 17 in November 2015 when she posted goodbye selfie moments before committing suicide. In December 2015, Vilena Piven (Ukraine) was 15 when she jumped off a 13 floor building. More recently, Isaiah Gonzalez from Texas was only 15 when he filmed his own suicide. These and many more children are victims of a sick mind-manipulation game, The Blue Whale Challenge.

“Yes I was truly doing that. Don’t worry, you’ll understand everything. Everybody will understand”, were the words of 22 year old Phillip Budeikin, the creator of the nihilist menace currently engulfing people all over the world.

What is The Blue Whale Challenge?

Budeikin’s Blue Whale Challenge can be described as an obscure online phenomenon that began in 2013, that makes use of hideous mind exploitation and assigns participants 50 bizarre and eventually mortal tasks that they must perform.

The tasks include tweeting that you are a blue whale using a hashtag while a different task asked a participant to cut an arm three times, and range between standard and self-mutilating psychopathy.

The Blue Whale challenge first began in 2013.
The game allegedly involves a variety of tasks that range between physically hurting yourself, slicing wrists and cutting yourself with blades and pins. (representational image) Wikimedia

In June this year, as reported by Daily Mail, Russian investigators said a 26-year old postman from Moscow, Ilya Sodorov had confessed of being an administrator (curator) and revealed that participants used to update him about their daily progress.

According to Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta, suicides of 130 Russian children between November 2015 and April 2016 have been linked to this lethal game. However, officials are yet to find physical evidence to support this hypothesis.

In an interview in Russia with Saint Petersburg News in May, Budeikin, nicknamed Philip Lis (Fox) accepted to intentionally pushing teenagers to suicide.

“There are people- and there is biological waste, those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause, or will cause, only harm to the society”, Budeikin said, saying that he was only ‘cleaning’ the society.

However, he refuted claims that his game was directly responsible for 130 deaths in Russia, stating that he had only directly influenced 17 suicides. He said the others had communicated with him, and committed suicide later, however without any direct influence from him. Chillingly, he added that there still were 28 people who were willing to take their lives.

“They were dying happy. I was giving them what they didn’t have: warmth, understanding, connections”, he said.

Though the scope and scale of the Blue Whale Challenge are yet to be confirmed, reports of suicide from different corners of the world are being linked to this online phenomenon, with the latest case coming from Mumbai where a teenager (14) is believed to have committed suicide following his alleged association with the game.

Budeikin has been sentenced to three years in prison this July.

However, Russian MP Irina Yarovaya has called for tougher penalties against Budeikin. She believes the law must catch up with abusive social media trends which threaten lives of young people, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Media Reportage

The issue has caught mass attention with several national and international media outlets covering stories about it.

In May, public schools in Alabama warned parents of their children’s likely indulgence in the ‘game’. Meanwhile, police officers in Miami also released a video on Facebook, alerting parents of the Russian game’s warning signs. Lately, the issue has also been taken up by the Indian media.

 

A school in Alabama shared about the blue whale challenge with parents through its Facebook page.
Schools in the US have chosen to discuss about the game with parents to keep them informed. Facebook

Reports suggest parents keep a check on their children’s social media accounts and not bring up the subject, unless the child already knows about it.

In April this year, the Pink Whale Challenge came up to counter its evil brother, urging people over the internet  to perform 50 happy tasks over a course of 50 days to prove “that the internet can be used to viralise the good.”

Some social media outlets like Instagram have also channeled efforts to curb the menace. If the words #BlueWhaleChallenge are searched, Instagram automatically pops a message encouraging the user to seek support.

Instagram asks users if they need help.
Various social media sites are now making an effort to gauge the scope of the menace. Instagram

 

How The Game Works

According to reports, the game holds its origins in the Russian social media platform VKontakte.com, where a person is supposed to download the app, create a profile and then share a public post expressing their interest to play the game.

In order for the curators to ‘find’ you, the post must have an exclusive selection of tags like,

#curatorfindme

#thebluewhale

#iamingame

#wakemeupat420, etc who then go through these profiles to prey upon targets, usually vulnerable 12-16 year olds.

The ‘game’ as they say, then begins.

 

the blue whale challenges continues to gather attention of kids worldwide.
Children continue to post statuses and tweets from different corners of the world about their willingness to participate in the game. Facebook and Twitter.

The selected players are then contacted through personal chats by curators. In other words, no individual can willing play the game; all you can do is say you want to, and then wait if the curators pick you.

 

The Challenges

Budeikin’s Blue Whale Challenge is believed to have been inspired by the blue whale’s tendency to beach themselves on purpose before death. And the repetitive mentions of 4:20 signal to the marijuana culture.

While some tasks seem harmless like waking up at 4:20 am, meeting a ‘whale’ (can be a fellow player/administrator) and listen to music that has been sent to you, the game allegedly turns violent as the levels progress, with tasks including cutting your lips, cutting the shape of a blue whale/4:20/ some random code on your arm using a blade. The administrator assigns the next task only after the previous ones are proven with photographic evidence. If not, the player faces penalties.

The blue whale challenge is a 50 day challenge, with the last task being suicide.
The alleged list of tasks that a child has to undertake as part of the game. Reddit.

While these may seem stupid to any mature person, young, impressionist children are suspected to be falling prey to the older administrators who threaten to kill or hurt their families and friends. These threats can seem rather real to a young teen or pre-teen, who is depressed or suicidal, which forces them to continue with the tasks. By the time they want to stop, the only way out appears to be through suicide, which is the final task for day 50.

 

Exposing the Real ‘Game’ called Blue Whale Challenge

While it is described as a game, the Blue Whale Challenge is far from being one. It is not an app and one cannot find it on Google Play Store. It cannot be downloaded through the computer, or played on an Xbox. Refuting popular belief, there is no website where you can sign up and land in the game.

So if it isn’t a game, then what is it?

We will recommend you view this as a phenomenon instead – a malicious tactic to establish contact and manipulate vulnerable children on social media, in the comments section of discussion forums and on shady websites.

The intention for such a nihilist act is difficult to interpret, it sure has psychopathic roots.

While there is no physical evidence as of now to link suicides from around the world to this game, what also needs to be understood here is that this ‘game’ is not taking lives. People hiding behind computer screens, who are merely making use of an established idea, are the ones who are to be blamed instead.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

What You Can Do

As it is not a ‘game’ that can be uninstalled, the only way to avoid it is to not indulge in it. Kids must be advised to not interact with strangers on the internet, and to avoid revealing much of any sort of personal information on open mediums.

While it can also not be completely ridiculed, there are a few things you can do, assuming all this is not another over-hyped internet sensation,

  1. If you come across ‘suicide’ groups or communities on Facebook, where people are asking to be found by curators, report the group.

If you notice people tweeting #i_am_whale, #bluewhalechallenge or anything similar, do not hesitate to flag it ‘Abusive or Harmful’.

You can do the same on Instagram, where the game is beginning to witness some activity with kids posting pictures with similar captions.

Reaching out to these children can also be considered.

  1. Because the ‘herd-mentality’ never ceases to leave Indians alone, if you find yourself or somebody else curious to indulge in the game, simply DO NOT. 

Seek help, instead.

Additionally, you can also reach out to suicide prevention NGOs and help-lines given below. Because even when life hits you hard and seems exhausting, or for the sheer adrenaline rush, the risk is too huge to take.

Aasra : 91-22-27546669

Lifeline Foundation : 91-33-2474-4704/5886/5255

ROSHNI : 91-40-7904646

– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter : @SohaKala


 

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Send Your own Nudes to Facebook to Stop Revenge Porn

Facebook is testing a new method to stop revenge porn that requires you to send your own nudes to yourself via the social network's Messenger app

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Send your own nudes
Send your own nudes via messenger app to yourself.Pixabay.

Sydney, Nov 9: Facebook is testing a new method to stop revenge porn that requires you to send your own nudes to yourself via the social network’s Messenger app.

This strategy would help Facebook to create a digital fingerprint for the picture and mark it as non-consensual explicit media.

So if a relationship goes sour, you could take proactive steps to prevent any intimate images in possession of your former love interest from being shared widely on Facebook or instagram.

Facebook is partnering with a Australian government agency to prevent such image-based abuses, the Australia Broadcasting Corp reported.

If you’re worried your intimate photos will end up on Instagram or Facebook, you can get in contact with Australi’s e-Safety Commissioner. They might then tell you to send your own nudes to yourself on Messenger.

send your own nudes to yourself
Facebook is coming up with a method to prevent revenge porn if you send your own nudes to yourself. Pixabay.

“It would be like sending yourself your image in email, but obviously this is a much safer, secure end-to-end way of sending the image without sending it through the ether,” e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant told ABC.

Once the image is sent via Messenger, Facebook would use technology to “hash” it, which means creating a digital fingerprint or link.

“They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies,” Grant said.

“So if somebody tried to upload that same image, which would have the same digital footprint or hash value, it will be prevented from being uploaded,” she explained.

Australia is one of four countries taking part in the “industry-first” pilot which uses “cutting-edge technology” to prevent the re-sharing on images on its platforms, Facebook’s Head of Global Safety Antigone Davis was quoted as saying.

“The safety and wellbeing of the Facebook community is our top priority,” Davis said. (IANS)

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Delhi Smog : Bollywood Actors Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor, Tapsee Pannu share Their concern on Social Media

Bollywood actors expresses their concern over Delhi Smog.

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Varun Dhawan shares his concern over Delhi Smog
Varun Dhawan shares his concern over Delhi Smog.Instagram
  • Delhi smog levels are going high day by day and have become a major health concern for delhiites.
  • Bollywood actors Arjun Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Tapsee Bannu and other express their concern over Delhi Smog.

Bollywood Actors share messages about Delhi Smog

Delhi Smog has choked almost everyone’s breath. Actor Varun Dhawan who is currently shooting in Delhi for his movie ‘October’ gives a message to go green in his Instagram post. He is masked and taking a selfie with a sheet of thick smog in the background. He even captioned his selfie, “I have clicked this selfie to show you guys what actual smog looks like. I don’t want to preach I am equally to blame for this mess as most of the citizens of our great country, but now instead of blaming each other and the government let’s change. It’s time we go green. #delhichokes.”

Actors like Taapsee Pannu, Arjun Kapoor and Dia Mirza also shared their messages on social media. They wrote-

Arjun tweeted the video of an accident which took place on Yamuna Expressway today due to high level of smog.

Prepared By Pragya Mital f NewsGram | Twitter @PragyaMittal05

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Researchers found a new Drug to Reduce Alcohol Addiction in Teenagers

The drug is (+)-Naltrexone can reduce the drinking habit in teenagers.

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A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers
A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers. Pixabay
  • Researchers have found a new drug that may eventually help to reduce alcohol addiction in adults who used to binge during their adolescent years.

A new drug found which can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers

“During our teen years, the brain is still in a relatively immature state. Binge drinking worsens this situation, as alcohol undermines the normal developmental processes that affect how our brain matures,” said lead author Jon Jacobsen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

“Therefore, when an adolescent who has been binge drinking becomes an adult, they’re often left with an immature brain, which assists in the development of alcohol dependence,” Jacobsen added.

For the study, published in the Journal Neuropharmacology, researchers observed that adolescent mice involved in binge drinking behavior developed an increased sensitivity to alcohol as adults and engaged in further binge drinking.

The researchers were able to prevent some of these detrimental behaviors observed in adulthood, by giving mice a drug that blocks a specific response from the immune system in the brain.

The drug is (+)-Naltrexone, known to block the immune receptor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4).

“This drug effectively switched off the impulse in mice to binge drink. The mice were given this drug still sought out alcohol, but their level of drinking was greatly reduced,” says senior author Professor Mark Hutchinson, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics at the University of Adelaide.

“We’re excited by the finding that we can potentially block binge drinking in an adult after they have experienced such behavior during adolescence, by stopping the activation of the brain’s immune system. It’s the first time this has been shown and gives us hope that our work has implications for the eventual treatment of alcohol addiction in adults,” Hutchinson noted.(IANS)