"Blue Whale: Teenagers most vulnerable," Tamil Nadu issues advisory
Following the suo moto case in the Madras High Court, the Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday issued an advisory to citizens over the Blue Whale Challenge. The advisory spells out what signs to look out for to identify if children, especially between 12 and 19 years of age, are victims of the online game. This is the government's first effort at creating awareness about the suicide game.
The Department of Information of the Tamil Nadu secretariat released a note explaining what the Blue Whale Game in all about and why attention needs to be paid to changes in children's attitudes. Highlighting the death of a teenager from Madurai, the Tamil Nadu government has appealed to the people to stay vigilant but not spread panic about the game.
What is the Blue Whale Challenge all about
The advisory attempts to explain what the game is all about and how access is gained.
Blue Whale Challenge is not an application based game
It is not easily downloadable from websites
It can't be downloaded from official play stores
It involves performing activities
Activities are assigned by the administrator or curator
The curator is part of a closed group social media forum
The forum includes online gaming groups
Forums can also be on message boards and online community messaging areas
Meant to target people and deliberately induce vulnerable teenagers
Teenagers asked to complete tasks over a period of 50 days
Suicide is the final task
The advisory has also indicated behavioral changes that need to be noticed and addressed
Children who play such online games tend to stay by themselves
They stop interacting with family and friends
They often talk about running away from home
They could talk even about death
Changes in their eating, sleeping habits
Less or no communication
Lack of interest in studies and falling grades
What is to be done?
Parents and teachers are advised to notice changes in child's behavior
Stop them from using the internet from any devices
Inform the local police authorities about the incident
Provide psychological counseling to the player
Seek help from government hospitals or NGOs