Safety Alert: Blue Whale Challenge
School districts are warning parents about a widely discussed social-media app that purports to instruct preteens to carry out increasingly dangerous tasks and self-harm over 50 days, ending in suicide. Users are also encouraged to tag friends on social media and challenge them to participate in the game. Common Sense Media has called the game “one of the scariest and most mysterious YouTube challenges” kids will try.
Many school administrators have already sent letters to parents, warning them about this game and the warning signs their children may be participating in it. Experts also suggest:
- Asking younger children if there are any new games or popular challenges that they or their friends are hearing about or playing on social media or online.
- Searching for hashtags like #BlueWhaleChallenge and/or photos of a blue whale on kids’ social media accounts.
The American Association of Suicidology also has resources on suicide identification and prevention.