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Govt asks Google, Facebook to remove links to Blue Whale Challenge

The final challenge in the Blue Whale Challenge, an Internet 'game' requires the player to commit suicide. Photograph: (DNA)

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 15, 2017, 10.02 AM (IST)

The Indian government has directed internet majors - Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo - to immediately remove the links of the dangerous online game Blue Whale Challenge, which led children in India and other countries to commit suicide.

"Instances of children committing suicide while Blue Whale Challenge have been reported in India...You are hereby requested to ensure that any such link of this deadly game in its own name or similar game is immediately removed from your platform," Ministry of Electronics and IT(Meity) said in a letter dated August 11 to the internet majors.

The letter was issued following instructions from Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, an official source said.

The Blue Whale challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete for a period of 50 days and the final task leads to suicide. The player is also asked to share photos after finishing the challenge.

Expressing concern over the availability of such a deadly game on the internet, Meity said, "It is understood that an administrator of the game uses the 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".

Mumbai and West Midnapore district have reported deaths linked to this game. Meity said the proponent of Blue Whale Challenge should be reported to law enforcement agencies.

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