Supreme Court of India on Friday issued an order to Doordarshan (DD), directing the autonomous public broadcasting body to prepare an educational 10-minute show on the perils of dangerous virtual games like the Blue Whale Challenge and its deadly consequences. Deeming Blue Whale game as a national problem the top court said that the spread of such life-threatening games should be stopped and for that, a programme should be aired on Doordarshan and other private channels on prime time to make the public aware of the dire consequences of the killer game. The programme should be up and running in a week said the apex court.
“How you (Centre) will do it, we are not concerned. But you must do it,” the bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said, adding that such online games posed danger to life and they must be “contained”. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Chennai lawyer NS Ponnaiah who had sought to frame of safety guidelines regarding life-threatening games which are budding online and had blamed Blue Whale for causing over 100 deaths in the country. Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha on behalf of Centre requested 3 weeks response time from the apex court and said that agencies have been put to work and are probing the cases which have emerged.
The Supreme Court also recommended Doordarshan to formulate the programme in consultation with the Ministries of Human Resource, Women and Child Welfare Department and Department of Information Broadcasting and Technology. The apex court also ordered the authorities to ensure that private channels also broadcast the programme during prime time. Earlier the court had asked the government to block all such life-threatening games to be blocked from the servers and had also issued a notice to various social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter in this regard.
The Blue Whale Challenge, a suicide game which is reported to have its origin from Russia is a deadly virtual trap which engages depressed unaware individuals into tricking their lives. The links for the game are shared on various social media platforms which people might download intentionally or unintentionally. The game then engages the use into 50 daunting tasks which include watching horror movies, isolating self, and carving out a whale on bare hands with a knife or blade, eventually leading to the final task where the user has to sacrifice his life.
Blue Whale Challenge has taken India by storm recently with several cases reported from around the country. “It is a virtual death trap, you will go through an agonising experience. Even those who seek adventures, will be mentally affected,” said a Chennai victim who somehow managed to escape the game had warned.
This step from the Supreme Court is a step to counter the rise of Blue Whale considering the fact that visual media creates the best impact and is allows detailed communication, the move will create a lot of awareness among both parents and children on how to safeguard themselves against such games.