Blue Whale Challenge

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SOURCE: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/blue-whale-challenge

About

Blue Whale Challenge, also known as the Blue Whale suicide game, is an online game in which participants are purportedly assigned a curator who provides various acts of self harm to be committed over the course of 50 days. On the final day, participants are urged to win the game by committing suicide. While over 100 teen suicides have reportedly been linked to the game, no direct evidence has been found.

Origin

On May 17th, 2016, the Russian news site RT[7] reported that groups on the Russian social network VK were linked to “130 teen suicides in Russia” (shown below).

Spread

On November 16th, 2016, the Russian news site RBTH[8] reported that a VK group administrator had been detained by police for urging children to commit suicide. On February 20th, 2017, YouTuber Sasho Panchuk uploaded a video titled “The guy plays Blue Whale jump from roof,” in which a Russian teenager pretends to jump off a roof (shown below).

On February 21st, the news site RadioFreeEurope[9] published an article, reporting that the “Blue Whale” suicide game had become a “shadowy online phenomenon” across Russia and Central Asian countries. On February 27th, The Sun reported that police were investigating the deaths of Russian teenagers Yulia Konstantinova and Veronika Volkova (shown below, right), who were suspected of committing suicide after communicating with a “sinister social media group.” That day, Snopes[10] published an article, labeling the claim that the “Blue Whale” game was “responsible for more than 130 in Russia” as “unproven.”

 

On March 3rd, The Sun[4] reported that the Blue Whale “suicide game” was linked to 130 teen deaths in Russia. That day, YouTuber Fame Magazine released a video about the Blue Whale game (shown below). On March 6th, The Sun[2] published a follow-up article about the challenge, On March 6th, Redditor -WATAFAK- submitted a post asking “What are the exact 50 challenges in the ‘blue whale challenge’?” to /r/morbidquestions,[1] to which Redditor jeanclauder replied with a translated list from a game.

That day, Redditor Normalguy112 submitted a post asking “What is the blue whale game?” to /r/OutOfTheLoop,[5]where it gathered upwards of 1,600 points (89% upvoted) and 300 comments within 24 hours. In the comments section, many Redditors expressed skepticism, speculating that the game may be a viral hoax. The following day, the Australian news site News.com.au[6] published an article reporting that the Russian police investigation of the suicide game.

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