Any violations of government instructions of removing all links which direct users to the dangerous online game “The Blue Whale Challenge” will be dealt with strictly, Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday.
“We received several complaints related to the Blue Whale game that it has been provoking youngsters to commit suicide. We have taken tough measures. Under the IT eco-system, no initiative shall be permitted which provokes young boys to commit suicides. It is plainly unacceptable,” Prasad said.
He said clear instructions have been issued to all tech platforms to check spread of Blue Whale game.
“I appeal to all tech platforms to abide by the government instructions. Any violation will be viewed seriously,” the Minister said.
The government has directed technology giants, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo to remove all links which direct users to the game.
“You are hereby required to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or any similar game is immediately removed from your platform,” a letter by the Ministry, dated August 11 and made available on Tuesday, read.
The game, reportedly created by a former convict in Russia, psychologically stimulates the players to indulge in daring, self-destructive tasks for 50 days before finally taking the “winning” step of killing themselves. Each task must be filmed and shared as proof.
“The proponent of Blue Whale Challenge should be reported to law enforcement agencies,” the letter said.
On July 30, a 14-year-old schoolboy Manpreet Singh Sahani walked off the fifth floor of his residential building in Mumbai, while a former Manipur minister’s son died after falling from a terrace in Delhi recently. The Blue Whale game is suspected behind both the deaths.
Also, a teenager in Kerala hanged himself to death allegedly while completing a Blue Whale challenge.