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What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

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May 19, 2017

What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

  • Some people say that the Blue Whale Challenge might be an urban legend but many parents and educators are concerned about this social media challenge that is gaining attention online
  • Many of the tasks include acts of self-harm, like urging players to cut themselves in the shape of a whale
  • Players join the Blue Whale Challenge by posting certain hashtags or joining specific groups on social media, in the hopes of getting selected by a “group administrator”
  • Targeted at 10-14 year olds, players are required to send photo evidence to their “group administrator” to prove that they have completed each specific task

Why should parents care?

  • The challenge as a whole is meant to harm students and slowly gets them to trust the game
  • The Blue Whale Challenge creates new opportunities for predators to target victims on social media
  • Players of the challenge can’t stop playing once they’ve started; they are blackmailed and cyber bullied into completing the “game”
  • “Group administrators” are typically adults and older teens

Login or join the VIP membership today to view all resources about the Blue Whale Challenge!

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What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

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The Blue Whale Challenge is a social media challenge that encourages teens and tweens to perform specific tasks, over the course of 50 days, that are assigned to them by an anonymous “group administrator.” The tasks escalate throughout the 50 days and on the last day of the challenge the only way to “win” is to die by suicide.

About the Blue Whale Challenge

The only way to “win” the Blue Whale Challenge is to die by suicide.
  • Some people say that the Blue Whale Challenge might be an urban legend but many parents and educators are concerned about this social media challenge that is gaining attention online
  • Many of the tasks include acts of self-harm, like urging players to cut themselves in the shape of a whale
  • Players join the Blue Whale Challenge by posting certain hashtags or joining specific groups on social media, in the hopes of getting selected by a “group administrator”
  • Targeted at 10-14 year olds, players are required to send photo evidence to their “group administrator” to prove that they have completed each specific task

Blue Whale Challenge in the news

Blue Whale, with its exploitation of self-pity and teenage posturing, will keep marching around the world. Bloomberg
Police are issuing grave warnings over the "Blue Whale" suicide game that began targeting teens in Russia and may now be finding its way around the globe. Yahoo News

Why should parents care?

The Blue Whale Challenge creates new opportunities for predators to target victims on social media.
  • The challenge as a whole is meant to harm students and slowly gets them to trust the game
  • The Blue Whale Challenge creates new opportunities for predators to target victims on social media
  • Players of the challenge can’t stop playing once they’ve started; they are blackmailed and cyber bullied into completing the “game”
  • “Group administrators” are typically adults and older teens

What can parents do?

Get involved, have a healthy dialog with your students about their day and social media.
  • Get involved, have a healthy dialog with your students about their day and social media
  • Pay attention to any changes in your teen’s behavior, especially if they become reserved, withdrawn, or fearful of social media
  • Consider contacting your teen's school. If your child has engaged with anything like the Blue Whale Challenge, other students might be engaging with it too
  • Urge your child to report any misbehavior they encounter online and on social media
  • Teach your teen to keep private things private, especially on the internet. If they are struggling, encourage your child to confide in you, a family member, or a trusted adult
  • Remember that “loving” your child means taking actions that may make your child not “like” you at times
  • It’s okay to take your child’s phone, search through it and make sure they are interacting with people you know (and in a way that’s healthy)

With so many resources available and so many people wanting to help, suicide can be prevented. Check on your friends and family members often and let them know you’re there for them. Let’s work towards getting rid of the stigma of talking about mental health. 

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or call 911 immediately. If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text HOME to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.

Complete list of Blue Whale challenges

A Reddit user posted a completed list of tasks which were supposedly posted in a comment on a story about the game on a Russian news website. The list of 50 challenges has been translated from Russian.

1. Carve with a razor "f57" on your hand, send a photo to the curator.

2. Wake up at 4.20 a.m. and watch psychedelic and scary videos that curator sends you.

3. Cut your arm with a razor along your veins, but not too deep, only 3 cuts, send a photo to the curator.

4. Draw a whale on a sheet of paper, send a photo to curator.

5. If you are ready to "become a whale", carve "YES" on your leg. If not, cut yourself many times (punish yourself).

6. Task with a cipher.

7. Carve "f40" on your hand, send a photo to curator.

8. Type "#i_am_whale" in your VKontakte status.

9. You have to overcome your fear.

10. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to a roof (the higher the better).

11. Carve a whale on your hand with a razor, send a photo to curator.

12. Watch psychedelic and horror videos all day.

13. Listen to music that "they" (curators) send you.

14. Cut your lip.

15. Poke your hand with a needle many times.

16. Do something painful to yourself, make yourself sick.

17. Go to the highest roof you can find, stand on the edge for some time.

18. Go to a bridge, stand on the edge.

19. Climb up a crane or at least try to do it.

20. The curator checks if you are trustworthy.

21. Have a talk "with a whale" (with another player like you or with a curator) in Skype.

22. Go to a roof and sit on the edge with your legs dangling.

23. Another task with a cipher.

24. Secret task.

25. Have a meeting with a "whale."

26. The curator tells you the date of your death and you have to accept it.

27. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to rails (visit any railroad that you can find)

.28. Don't talk to anyone all day.

29. Make a vow that "you're a whale."

30-49. Everyday you wake up at 4:20am, watch horror videos, listen to music that "they" send you, make 1 cut on your body per day, talk "to a whale."

50. Jump off a high building. Take your life.

Conclusion

The Blue Whale Challenge is challenging from start to finish. Parents or trusted adults should help the student seek professional help if they find they are participating.

Additional Resources

Reddit: A Guide for Parents & Educators

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Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

What is the Blue Whale Challenge?

  • Some people say that the Blue Whale Challenge might be an urban legend but many parents and educators are concerned about this social media challenge that is gaining attention online
  • Many of the tasks include acts of self-harm, like urging players to cut themselves in the shape of a whale
  • Players join the Blue Whale Challenge by posting certain hashtags or joining specific groups on social media, in the hopes of getting selected by a “group administrator”
  • Targeted at 10-14 year olds, players are required to send photo evidence to their “group administrator” to prove that they have completed each specific task

Why should parents care?

  • The challenge as a whole is meant to harm students and slowly gets them to trust the game
  • The Blue Whale Challenge creates new opportunities for predators to target victims on social media
  • Players of the challenge can’t stop playing once they’ve started; they are blackmailed and cyber bullied into completing the “game”
  • “Group administrators” are typically adults and older teens

Login or join the VIP membership today to view all resources about the Blue Whale Challenge!

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

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