Blue Whale is not a downloadable game, application or software. It's a social media phenomenon which enters social media networks from secretive groups. You can only be part of the game if an administrator contacts you and enlists you as a potential whale, or candidate. It may also be available under different names such as A Silent House, A Sea of Whales and Wake Me Up at 4:20 AM. As has been widely reported it challenges young people to self harm and finally commit suicide as part of a dare.
Some indicators - participants to start distancing themselves from the family or friends and stay alone. Their sleep pattern changes as the challenge requires them to wake up at 4.20 am. They become fascinated with horror movies as this is another challenge they must meet. Since one of the rules of Blue Whale game is to cut yourself every day, identifying such small cuts on the person’s body can also help to identify if they are playing the blue whale game.
As we always advise, parents should monitor the internet access of children, and keep an eye on their online activities. Our advice at school is always that children should not keep their devices with them at night – neither phones nor laptops. Whether Blue Whale or for some other reason such as surfing and chatting through the night, there must be a time in young people’s lives when they do not access social media.
Given the media exposure it is most likely that your child already knows about the Blue Whale challenge. A good way to begin a discussion is to ask your child if they know about the challenge. Then ask them to clue you in. Having them educate you is often the best way to start a true conversation and get their perspective. They’re far more receptive to that approach than they are to parent lectures.
If you find that your child is already playing the Blue Whale challenge, then the first step is to completely stop the internet access of the child and contact the police about the issue and seek further guidance. Approaching a certified psychologist will also be helpful. Please do share with the school. We will not be more judgmental than you are and we emphasise the need of working together with understanding for the welfare of your child.
Even while it is essential to be careful, we must note that several fact-checking websites and media watchdogs have dismissed data on deaths due to lack of evidence