Beware the Dangers of Social Media Challenges
While many social media challenges are positive—raising funds for worthy causes and inspiring a sense of community spirit and camaraderie—others can be dangerous and even sinister. Following the recent suicide of a 15-year-old boy in Texas, parents are being warned about a social media challenge called the “Blue Whale Challenge” or “Blue Whale Game.”
Young people tag each other on social media and encourage their friends to play. The challenge involves completing a series of tasks—some of which are dangerous—for 50 days and livestreaming or sending photos of the tasks (cutting themselves, for example). Group members who failed to complete a task received threatening messages.
The Blue Whale challenge, which is believed to have originated in Russia, was previously thought to be a hoax. Authorities urge parents to talk to their children and teens about the potential dangers of this and other social media challenges.