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Delhi HC seeks response from Facebook, Google, Yahoo — Blue Whale Challenge

23 August 2017

Show cause notices were issued to the Indian branches of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, the state of Delhi and the Union of India by the Delhi high court on Tuesday in the matter of a writ petition seeking a ban on the internet-based suicide game, "Blue Whale Challenge".

A bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar also wondered why adults were getting into this game, in which risky tasks like self-inflicting of wounds on the body, are assigned to the player by administrators during a 50-day period. Expressing concern over the availability of such games on the Internet, the IT ministry in its communication said, "It is understood that an administrator of the game uses social media platform to invite /incite children to play this game, which may eventually lead them to take extreme steps for self inflicting injuries including suicide".

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The plea, which has been filed by advocate Gurmeet Singh, has sought the court's directions to restrain the internet companies from uploading any material related to the game, citing cases of suicide by children in India and across the globe.

An investigating officer said police are looking into a possible connection between the attempted suicide and the so-called "Blue Whale" challenge -an online game that law enforcement agencies worldwide are probing. The final challenge requires the player to jump off a high-rise. Meanwhile, Delhi Police counsel Sanjoy Ghose informed the court that the cyber security cell was active in this regard and the Centre has also issued a direction.

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Blue Whale, which is not exactly a "game" but more of a phenomenon like the Ice Bucket Challenge, has reportedly lead to death of hundreds of teenagers across the world.

Government had earlier directed internet majors - Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo - to immediately remove the links of unsafe online game Blue Whale Challenge, which has led to suicide of children in India and other countries.

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Delhi HC seeks response from Facebook, Google, Yahoo — Blue Whale Challenge