Blue Whale Suicide game said to be a trend in the Russian and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
- Hashtags related to the game were reported to be searched 4,000 times on January 20 alone on
- Reports claim the new trend can be linked to a recent surge in both suicides and attempted suicides
- At least 130 teens are thought to have killed themselves due to social media “death groups”
It is a story too macabre to believe. Reports claim that teenagers are committing suicide after taking part in an online trend/game. The game is called the “Blue Whale Suicide,” and it has parents along Russia and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan mortified. However, is there any truth to the story?
On February 22, 2017, I Heart Intelligence released an article titled, “Here’s How The ‘Blue Whale’ Suicide Game Is Killing Teens On Social Media.” In the article, it states that the “frightening trend” is spreading across “social media sites in Russia and spreading across the world.”
I Heart Intelligence reports the different names for the game as follows.
THE SHOCKING GAME – (“СИНИЙ КИТ”) GOES BY A FEW NAMES:
– SINIY KIT (“A BLUE WHALE ”,” СИНИЙ КИТ “),
– TIKHIY DOM (“ A QUIET HOUSE/A SILENT HOUSE ”, ” ТИХИЙ ДОМ “,” #ТИХИЙДОМ “),
– MORE KITOV (“ A SEA/A BUNCH OF WHALES ”,” МОРЕ КИТОВ “,” #МОРЕКИТОВ “),
– F53, F57, F58 AND RAZBUDI MENYA V 4:20 (“ WAKE ME UP 4.20 AM ”,” РАЗБУДИ МЕНЯ В 420 “,” #РАЗБУДИМЕНЯВ420 “).
The story behind the game goes as follows. Once you sign up to play the game, you receive your curator. Your curator then gives you different tasks to do over the next 50 days, with the first task normally coming at 4:20 am. Every time you accomplish a task, you must provide photographic or video proof of completion. After doing this for 50 days, the player is pushed to commit suicide in order to “win the game.”
On February 21, 2017, RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty reported that people are finding curators by using the Russian-language hashtags of “blue whale,” “sea of whales,” “I’m in the game,” “Wake me at 4:20,” “F58,” along with many others. The often seen flying whale is said to be a chosen symbol due to whales committing suicide by jumping out of the water and beaching themselves on land. It is said that the whales are going to freedom.
The trend was said to have started on the largest European online social media and social networking service, VKontakte. While the site offers services in several languages, it is very popular among those who speak Russian.
RFE/RL reports that there were 4,000 searches for the hashtags on January 20, 2017, alone. Journalists from RFE/RL also claimed to have spoken with a curator. The conversation read as follows.
“I want to play the game,” an RFE/RL correspondent wrote after creating a fake profile for a 15-year-old girl on the popular Russian social media site VKontakte.
“Are you sure? There is no way back,” responded a so-called curator of the Blue Whale game.
“Yes. What does that mean — no way back?”
“You can’t leave the game once you begin.”
“I’m ready.” Then the curator explained the rules.
“You carry out each task diligently, and no one must know about it. When you finish a task, you send me a photo. And at the end of the game, you die. Are you ready?”
“And if I want to get out?”
“I have all your information. They will come after you.”
Sea Of Whales
RFE/RL claims the first task given to their fake Internet persona was to scratch the “F58” symbol into their arm. RFE/RL replied by sending a photoshopped picture to prove completion, at which point communication with the curator ended. Over the course of a week, RFE/RL claimed they managed to speak to over a dozen people who claimed to either be players or curators.
The Daily Mail reported the deaths of two young school girls, Yulia Konstantinova, 15, and Veronika Volkova, 16 could be related to the Blue Whale Game. The two girls reportedly fell from an apartment building over the weekend. While there is some speculation over the deaths, shortly before the incident, Yulia had posted “End” to her social media page with a picture of a blue whale. Veronika wrote, “Sense is lost… End.”
Two teenage boys were said to be detained after possibly filming the incident.
A video uploaded to the Instagram account shamil.azizov, shows two girls jumping off of what appears to be an apartment building. Some have claimed that the video is of Yulia Konstantinova, and Veronika Volkova.
Others have claimed the video is a spoof, at least the first clip. Sadly, several parody videos have came out following the death of the two young girls.
However, while the first clip can be argued of being the fake, the clips that follow look to be actual video of of people attempting suicide by jumping off of buildings. Several clips appear to be the same building at different angles.