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News 16 Jun 17

Panic Over ‘Blue Whale’ Game Spreads to Kosovo

Kosovo Police have called for vigilance over a mysterious online game called Blue Whale - that supposedly pushes teenagers towards suicide.

Die Morina
BIRN
Pristina
Photo ilustration: Germain Durand/ Flickr

Kosovo authorities are joining the concerns expressed over a myserious online game, which originates from Russia, called “Blue Whale”, which reportedly pushes teenagers to commit suicide.

On Thursday, police urged citizens to take extra care while adding that no actual victims of this allegedly “suicidal” game had been reported in the country.

“ ‘Blue Whale’, known as a ‘suicide game’, has driven at least 130 youngsters to suicide in Russia,” the police statement read, calling on parents to contact a psychologist or the police if they feel their children’s behave is changing.

The alarm started in Russia back in November 2015, when a teenage girl's death was linked to an online game that supposedly provoked children to take 50 challenges over 50 days, and then coerced them to commit suicide at the end as the ultimate challenge.

Reports about the online game - whose actual existence remains unclear - alarmed parents in Bulgaria, on February, after claims that young people in the country had started playing it.

In Romania, the Interior Ministry in April started an awareness campaign in schools to warn pupils, teachers and parents about the alleged risks after several juvenile suicides were linked to it by the media and some police – although no proof of any link has yet been established.

The name of the alleged game derives from those blue whales that beach themselves and die for no apparent purpose.

Last week, the Russian authorities arrested a 26-year-old Moscow postman, accused of starting the game.

 

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