Blue Whale challenge: Cyber experts welcome ban on game

NEW DELHI: Welcoming the Government of India’s direction to internet majors Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to immediately remove links of the dangerous online game Blue Whale Challenge, cyber experts on Wednesday said that the government need to come up with more innovative strategies to deal with such self harm games. Speaking to ANI, cyber expert Pawan Duggal said it is a right step in the right direction.

“The recent move of the GOI comes in an appropriate time. It is a right step in the right direction ….it has been good beginning but the Government need to come up with more innovative strategies to deal with these self harm games. The GOI could come up with rules and regulation under Section 79 of Information and technology….to ensure there is no propagation of such negative and self harm games,” he said. He further suggested that there is a need of sensitisation of family and awareness programmes by the schools to avoid such incidents.

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Echoing similar sentiments, another cyber expert Prashant Mali said the direction came late but it is definitely a “good step”.“This should be welcomed with a good head. It came late but it is a good step by the government of India. I want to suggest that India should have a gaming regulator….so that they can stop where they are instigating the gamer to do things like raping a person, or killing itself,” he added.

In a different view, cyber expert Virag Gupta said the government has come out with a very defective advisory which is difficult to be legally imposed. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, taking a strict measure against the deadly online game, Blue whale Challenge, has asked the social media giants like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo to immediately remove all the links relating to the game, on Tuesday.

“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,” stated the ministry, in a letter, to the internet majors. Taking the cognizance of the recent deaths in Mumbai and West Bengal, the ministry said the proponent of Blue Whale Challenge should be reported to law enforcement agencies.

On August 14, a series of tweets was put out by Ministry of Child and Development stating that Maneka Gandhi has taken up the matter with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The deadly online ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ game, however is reportedly a suicide game that challenges players for over 50 days, wherein demanding them to complete tasks given by an anonymous controller.