Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the Nassau County Police Department are issuing a warning to parents and teenagers concerning a new social media game that has been linked to a recent surge in adolescent suicides in Russia. The game, known as the “Blue Whale Challenge,” is played through private group messages on numerous social media sites. It is led by an administrator who asks teens to complete 50 tasks over a period of 50 days. The tasks range from watching horror movies to waking during strange hours of the night and self-harming. On the 50th day, teens are instructed by administrators to delete all associated messages and posts from their social media accounts before committing suicide.
“This is a deadly game affecting teenagers and their families overseas,” said County Executive Mangano. “With technology and social media sites so prevalent in our lives, it has become easier for these types of cyber threats to occur. While so far no deaths have been linked to this game in the United States, the Nassau County Police Department and I encourage all parents to closely monitor their children’s internet activity, to ensure they remain safe.”
According to the Russian Federal Security Bureau, a 21-year-old Russian Male has been arrested for serving as an administrator of the Blue Whale group, responsible for encouraging 17 female girls, ranging from ages 12-16, to take their lives. In Russia, 130 suicides have potentially been linked to the Blue Whale group.
To report suspicious activity, you can call the Asset Forfeiture and Intelligence, Lead Development Center at (516) 573-5782 or email AFILDC@PDCN.org.