Victims of internet challenges of Blue Whale

[An IRIB report about two teenage girls’ suicide in Isfahan. Apparently, they did it because of Blue Whale challenge – a game in which players are asked to do difficult things over a 50-day period, with the final challenge requiring the player to commit suicide.]

Reporter: Around yesterday noon, the news went viral on social networks about the fall of two teenage girls from a bridge in one of the Isfahan’s highways.

-One of these girls died, and the other is in the hospital and under treatment.

Reporter: Forensic investigations and what is left on cellphones and on bodies of victims of this incident show that these people have done this under the influence of the internet.

–Internet challenges have caused this suicide, and the dead person had been glued to the internet.

–She spent a lot of time on her cellphone. When she came to me, her hands were full of scars.

Reporter: You mean self-injury?

–Yes. She had cut herself with the blade.

Reporter: Internet game made this happen?

–Yes. I didn’t know about them.

Reporter: But the question is what solutions are there for families to keep themselves safe against this infinite space?

–In this space, dangerous behaviors have been theorized for the minds of youths and teenagers. And such behaviors are taught.

–I think one of the most important factors of such incidents is the generation gap which exists between parents and children. Unfortunately, today we can see this gap more, particularly the emotional gap. People’s economic and livelihood problems can also add fuel to this issue. If the need for kindness is not met in the family, naturally each and every member of the family – be it the parents or the children – will seek for this kindness outside the family.

Reporter: Anyway, the internet will not be over.

Reporter: The trusting internet challenges can sometimes end here [the cemetery]. We should remember that sometimes the virtual space can be more dangerous than the reality.

Ahmad Reza Azizi, IRIB news agency, Isfahan