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Mumbai: Why banning Blue Whale game is difficult, even after CM Fadnavis’ assurance

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Mumbai: The Maharashtra government in light of menace created by online game ‘Blue Whale’ have decided to approach central government for a ban on the game but ensuring that, say cyber security experts, is going to be quite a challenge for the government too. This is owing to the game’s mysteriousness and complexity and the fact that it isn’t an app in itself that can be done away with blocking or banning.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday had said in the Assembly that the state would approach the Centre to take measures to block the game’s servers to contain the damage it has created among the youngsters.

Cyber experts, who have closely followed this game believes that Blue Whale is not just another game easily downloadable from Playstore or any other app store and that it is, in fact, a community that has been inciting teenagers across the globe to commit suicide. The controllers of the Challenge are connected with each other through different chat rooms and contact teenagers with specific interests via social media platforms, luring them to play the game and then incite them to take dangerous steps such as ending one’s life.


Cyber security expert Ritesh Bhatia told mid-day, “In the Russian teenager’s suicide, it was found that the community communicated via prominent social apps. If we want to ban the Challenge and stop it from entering the country, we need to control and monitor all social media platforms popular among youngsters. All searches need to be monitored by the ISPs and any access to websites that lead to the Challenge needs to be immediately blocked.”

Also read: Mumbai: 14-year-old kills self, police suspect victim of Blue Whale game

A Mumbai-based gaming expert, who did not wish to be named, said, “I have been reading about the Blue Whale Challenge for the past six months; there have been several suicides by teenagers in Russia. I have learned that the game has several other names too – Dark Room and Wake me up at 4:20 am. Once a person joins it, he is given challenges or dares. It begins with harming oneself and ends with suicide. To ban Blue Whale, it is necessary to find its links and community pages, and then, block their access to teenagers. This can be very difficult because we don’t know which page has been made for the Challenge,” reported Mid-Day.

The banning of this online game is not that easy considering the technicalities regarding the game and Vicky Shah, an advocate, and cyber law expert told the paper, “It is still a subject of an investigation if the Blue Whale is a software, a game or a chat room. If there is support from the gateway or ISP, only then is it possible to block the links. A complete ban, however, is impossible, as you can’t really ensure a 100 per cent stop to Internet connectivity.”