A social media game, which is linked to the deaths of two teens in the US, has raised alarm bells among parents. A dangerous game called the “Blue Whale challenge” that is said to influence players to inflict harm on themselves and eventually commit suicide had snuffed out the lives of a 15-year-old boy in Texas and a 16-year-old girl in Georgia.

It was the brother of the young female victim in Georgia who pieced together the supposed eerie cause of death of his kin. He unearthed a sketch of a lady from his sister’s personal effects, and saw the name Rina Palenkova whom he found through online search to be a victim of the social media game in Russia a few years ago.

The Georgian teen’s family members then found additional clues that included illustrations of blue whales linked to the girl. Further investigations were conducted by authorities to check who the victim may have communicated with before her untimely demise.Russian originator of Blue Whale Challenge

The creator of the Blue Whale Challenge has been identified as Philip Budeikin, 21, from Russia. Though Budeikin was arrested in November, the game apparently continues to be facilitated by copycats online. Expelled from school and a bipolar, as he described himself, he had created several groups on a leading social networking site pertaining to the Blue Whale Challenge.

The scary thing is that Budeikin had admitted to inciting young people to commit suicide. He even categorized the vulnerable individuals caught in the game as "biodegradable waste." “There are people, and there are biodegradable waste,” Budeikin told Saint-Petersburg.ru, a Russian outlet in an article published around the time of his arrest.

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Teens are subject to self-harm

The social media game that is believed to have preyed on confused teens, beginning in Russia and now in other parts of the world, tends to have a deadly, manipulative approach. Reports are doing the rounds that the young members of this group are threatened that their family members will be harmed if they do not follow the instructions.

Daily challenges are given for accepted members to carry out for 50 days. The game begins with simple challenges, including waking up at odd hours and watching horror flicks. The challenges, purportedly assigned by the so-called “whale” who influences the members, become extreme. The last task is to commit suicide.

App spells danger

The rise of smartphone apps worldwide has been phenomenal. Young and mature individuals have been amused no end by photo editing apps and newer versions with looping-video formats, the end-product of which can be shared on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites.

Little did parents realize that amidst the proliferation of seemingly harmless and entertaining apps, one that is deadly, like the Blue Whale Challenge, will sprout. As to how such dangerous social media games can be curbed remains the next big challenge.