Ron LeeMay 19, 2017, 12:56 pm

‘Blue Whale Challenge’ social media game tied to teen suicides: Nassau officials

Media reports estimate 130 suicides in Russia are potentially linked to the game

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A new type of challenge is circulating online and it's being called extremely dangerous. Now, some top Nassau officials are warning parents and teens about a game known as the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’.

It's played through private group messages on social media in which teens are asked to complete 50 tasks over 50 days. But in order to complete the final task, you must kill yourself.

"How involved do you have to be to go that far to kill yourself?” says Heather of Carle Place. “It's a little insane in my opinion. It's just dumb to get involved in something like that over the internet."

Heather is a junior at Carle Place High School. And while she's seen the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ mentioned on Twitter, she says no one at her school is really talking about it.

One Instagram post shows the type of self-harm that some participants are experiencing when asked to carve a blue whale into their skin.

By the time day 50 rolls around, teens are instructed by administrators to delete all associated messages and posts from their social media accounts before committing suicide.

Reports from Russian media estimate 130 suicides in Russia have potentially been linked to the blue whale group.

While no deaths so far have been linked to the game in the U.S., County Executive Ed Mangano says, "The Nassau County Police Department and I encourage all parents to closely monitor their children's internet activity, to ensure they remain safe."

It appears that Instagram is also trying to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. When we typed in #bluewhalegame, a pop up screen appeared, asking, "Can we help?" It says, "Posts with words or tags you're searching for often encourage behavior that can cause harm and even lead to death. If you're going through something difficult, we'd like to help."

It then gives three options including get support, see posts anyway, and cancel.

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