Police Warn Parents Over Blue Whale Challenge After Suicide Rumours

Blue Whale

While the internet is one of the most amazing things in our time, it is also one of the most dangerous. It enables deadly crazes and information to spread like wildfire, influencing people and causing harm without any prior warning.

There have been a whole host of dangerous trends that have spread online, including the Tide pod challenge, the blackout challenge and the challenge where people have to walk over stacks of milk bottle crates. These are just a few that have caused many injuries and, tragically, deaths too.

One of the most recent social media challenges to have come out is the Blue Whale challenge. This has gained traction quickly and is being written about for all the wrong reasons. Here we take a look at what the Blue Whale challenge is and why it is so dangerous for those involved.

What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

The Blue Whale Challenge is a dangerous trend whereby users are sent 50 tasks for them to complete, doing one a day for fifty days. The final day of the challenge involves the task of them having to kill themselves. It is a highly dangerous and horrible challenge that targets those that are the most vulnerable and has seen many deaths occur as a result.

The tasks seem to start out innocently enough, asking people to do things such as “watch a scary film” or “wake up in the middle of the night” but as the challenge progresses, they turn a lot darker, more sinister and dangerous. One of the more harming challenges is getting the person to use a knife and cut the shape of a whale into the skin of the arm.

The challenge has taken over in places such as the United States, Ukraine and India, but it is thought to have started in Russia originally, before spreading online through social media and other online tools. There have been hundreds of deaths reported and that is why the UK is being warned to keep an eye out for children or teens who might become a victim to the challenge should it reach over here.

One of the most high profile cases of a person that is purported to have engaged in the challenge is Rina Palenkova, a teenager who lived in south-eastern Russia and posted a selfie with a caption “Nya bye.” The next day she killed herself and soon other teens followed with a pattern emerging.

Daria Radchenko, a senior researcher at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration looked into Palenkova’s suicide and the Blue Whale challenge. She said, “Nobody actually knew the true story behind her suicide” so doesn’t want to necessarily blame this but can’t rule it out either.

It’s important to speak with your children and inform them that they can talk to you if they should need to. They should also be encouraged to report anything to you that seems unsafe or suspicious online.

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