KARACHI: A man claiming to be the curator of the notorious ‘Blue Whale’ game is harassing girls in Dadu city of Sindh using WhatsApp messenger app, ARY News reported on Tuesday.
According to Women Protection Cell, at least two girls from Dadu approached the NGO and said that a man using a US number is trying to blackmail them by saying their social media accounts are hacked and now they will have to do what he says and finish tasks he assigns to them.
Women Protection Cell (DWPC) is a platform where women vulnerable to Domestic Violence, Harassment at Work Place and other Threats and Crimes can report their complaints for immediate redress. DWPC works under the direct supervision of DIG Police, Hyderabad Range.
What is Blue Whale Challenge?
Blue whale game (The suicide game) is shared among secretive groups on social media networks.
The creators seek out their players/victims who are in depression and send them an invitation to join.
The basis of the challenge is that an anonymous “group administrator,” otherwise known as “the curator,” hands out 50 tasks to selected “players” that must be completed, documented and posted during a 50-day period.
Players of the challenge can’t stop playing once they’ve started; they are blackmailed and cyber bullied into completing the “game”.
Recently, India’s interior ministry issued a public advisory asking people to look out for following signs and symptoms to know if their child can fall prey to or is actually playing the Blue Whale game.
He or She is…
Becoming withdrawn from friends and family
Persistent low mood and unhappiness
Child seems to be worried that stops him from carrying out day to day tasks
Sudden outbursts of anger directed at themselves or others
Loss of interest in activities that they used to enjoy
Visible marks like deep cuts or wounds on any part of the body of the child.
How to protect your child from this game:
Check in with your child, ask how things are going. Ask if there have been things stressing them, or anything that has them worried. If your child is talking about any level of distress, do not hesitate to ask them about changes in mental health.
Unless there is reason to believe your child already knows of or has played the game, don’t discuss about the Blue Whale game. By doing so, you increase the chance that your child will search for it on their own.
Monitor your children’s online and social media activity to ensure they are not engaging with this game.
Keep your eyes open for:
Unusually secretive behaviour, mostly related to their online activity
A sudden increase in the time they spend online, especially social media
They seem to change screens on their device when approached
They become withdrawn or angry, after using the internet or sending text messages
Their device suddenly has many new phone numbers and email contacts
Install a good cyber/mobile parenting software which helps them in monitoring your children.
Parents should take reports from child counsellor present in the school at regular intervals.
If you fear your child may be at risk, get professional help right away.
Remind your child that you are there and will support them as they face life challenges.