A social media 'game' called ‘Blue Whale’ may be connected to a spate of suicides in Russia

Two young girls, aged 15 and 16 fell to their deaths from two different blocks of flats, becoming the latest in a string of deaths seemingly connected to an insidious game in Russia.

The social media game online has been linked to over 130 suicides across Russia in the space of six months, according to the newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

The premise, which is referred to as the ‘blue whale’ game sees young people sign up and agree to follow increasingly bizarre instructions over the course of 50 days.

These can include cutting oneself, waking up at odd hours or listening to a particular song. All these culminate in taking one’s own life on the 50th day.

The deaths of fifteen-year-old Yulia Konstantinova and 16-year-old Veronika Volkova are being investigated by state investigators in Krasnoyarsk, a city east of Moscow.

Konstantinova had left a note saying ‘End’ on her social page, and earlier in the day posted a picture of a blue whale.

Her friend Volkova posted a similar message, with the worlds ‘sense is lost…End’.

There are growing concerns of an online network encouraging children to end their own lives.

Law enforcement have opened three criminal cases of incitement to suicide via groups on certain social media groups online.

The three schoolgirls involved with the case were rescued.

The article in Novaya Gazeta stated that:

We know absolutely for sure is that adults are working with children, with the help of knowledge of their habits and passions, using their favourite language and culture...

They know psychology well, they convince girls that they are ‘fat’,  tell boys that they are ‘losers’ in this world. And that there is another world and they will be among the chosen.

Another Russian publication, Meduza argued that Novaya Gazeta were inaccurate in their reporting – that although the social media groups do exist; there is no proof that the game is what caused the suicides. Instead, it could also be argued that suicidal and potentially mentally ill young people happen to frequent similar social media groups.

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