The Centre on Tuesday ordered Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to remove controversial Blue Whale Challenge Game from their online platforms, PTI reported. The development follows a petition, from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, demanding a ban on the online game.
“Instances of children committing suicide while playing Blue Whale Challenge have been reported in India,” the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a letter to the internet giants. “You are hereby requested to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or similar name is immediately removed from your platform.”
Justifying the ban further, the letter read, “It is understood that an administrator of the game uses social media platforms to invite children to play this game, which may eventually lead them to take extreme steps including self-inflicting injuries and suicide”.
The Blue Whale Challenge is believed to assign players various tasks during a 50-day period and ends with the player committing suicide.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights had written to the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry three times since May about the threat that this online game poses, an unidentified ministry spokesperson told PTI.
It is believed that a 14-year-old boy who jumped off the fifth floor of a building in Mumbai earlier in August had been influenced by the game. Last week, a Class 5 student in Dehradun, who too had taken up the challenge, was stopped from killing himself.