15:47 GMT +322 September 2019
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    An Indian youth uses the internet at a cyber cafe in Allahabad, India.

    Delhi High Court Asks Facebook, Google to Block Blue Whale Suicide Game in India

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    The Court also sought a response from the central government and Delhi Police on a plea seeking a directive to be issued to internet firms to immediately remove links to the game.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Delhi high court has served notices to Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other search engines and social networking sites, asking them to remove all links to the Blue Whale Challenge.

    The order came in response to a petition filed Delhi resident Gurmeet Singh who contended that the Blue Whale Challenge has abetted suicide and/or self-destructive grievous injuries by children. The petition wants social media platforms to prevent users from even posting material pertaining Blue Whale.

    The court has also directed the State to appoint a special team comprising of at least 5 members, not below the rank of an Inspector, to oversee compliance with the direction, the Press Trust of India reported.

    The petition has cited the example of China to support the ban on the game. It stated, “In May 2017, Tencent, China’s largest Internet service portal, closed 12 suspicious Blue Whale-related network groups on its social networking platform QQ. The search result of related keywords was also blocked in QQ.”

    The Blue Whale reportedly made its debut in Russia four years ago. The game creates 50 dares or tasks for its players, which could range from relatively harmless dares like drawing to watching horror movies to the extreme and life-threatening tasks like slashing wrists. The final task is a suicide dare. All tasks are to be filmed and shared as proof.

    Local reports have linked a 14-year-old teenager’s suicide in Mumbai as the first victim of the online game. Since then, at least seven other cases have been linked to the game, including the latest suicide attempt by a 24-year-old college student who jumped off the seventh floor of a high-rise apartment complex in Chennai on Monday evening. The woman miraculously survived after she fell on a parked car there.

    The southern state of Kerala, the western state of Maharashtra and many legislators from other Indian states too have demanded a ban on Blue Whale Challenge, although no tangible evidence has been found so far in any of the suicide cases to establish their connection with the game.

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