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Kolkata Has The Highest Number Of Searches For The Blue Whale Challenge In The World, Says Google Data

Uh-oh.

30/08/2017 5:09 PM IST | Updated 30/08/2017 5:18 PM IST
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This is one global ranking, no country or its cities would want to lead.

According to a Google Trends report of the last 12 months, India consistently ranked third in the world for searches related to the notorious Blue Whale challenge. Kolkata leads the pack of 30 world cities, with a 100 percent surge in searches for the online 'game' in the past one year, reported Times Of India.

Both India and Kolkata held their ranks throughout the search period — data for the durations of one, three and 12 months.

A staggering seven Indian cities are among the top 10 in the world searching for the challenge on Google. Kolkata is followed by San Antonio (US), Nairobi (Kenya), Guwahati, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, New Delhi, Howrah, and Paris (France).

The infamous Blue Whale Challenge has been making headlines both nationally and internationally due to the rising number of teenage suicides by its players around the world. The be part of the challenge, one has to be accepted by an administrator who, reportedly, allows only troubled teens to 'play'.

Over the course of the next 50 days, the participant is given one challenge a day, providing photographic evidence of having completed it to the administrator to move to the next one. Several of the tasks in the challenge include cutting oneself and carving messages on the hands and legs. Other dangerous tasks include standing on the ledges of high buildings, bridges, poking yourself with needles, watching disturbing videos sent by the administrator. The final task is to jump off a high building and commit suicide.

The Blue Whale challenge is believed to have originated in Russia in 2013, invented by a Philipp Budeikin, a psychology student expelled by his university, who claimed he created the challenge to "clean society" by egging those who were of no value to it to commit suicide. Budeikin was eventually arrested and pled guilty to inciting 16 teenagers to commit suicide.

Since July, teenagers from Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh have reportedly committed suicide after playing the game. At least two teenagers were intercepted and saved just before they attempted the final suicide task.

There has been growing concern among parents, the government and law-enforcement agencies about vulnerable teens falling prey to the allure of the challenge. In a letter dated 11 August, the Ministry of Electronics and IT directed six Internet majors — Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo — to immediately remove links to the dangerous game.

On 24 August, West Bengal CID shared an awareness video on its official Facebook page to warn teenagers and issue guidelines for parents and teachers to enable them to protect children. "The video has been uploaded so that people can understand the hidden agenda of the game," a senior CID official told PTI.

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