Blue Whale Suicide game said to be a trend in the Russian and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
Hashtags related to the game were reported to be searched 4,000 times on January 20 alone on
Reports claim the new trend can be linked to a recent surge in both suicides and attempted suicides
At least 130 teens are thought to have killed themselves due to social media “death groups”
It is a story too macabre to believe. Reports claim that teenagers are committing suicide after taking part in an online trend/game. The game is called the “Blue Whale Suicide,” and it has parents along Russia and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan mortified. However, is there any truth to the story?
On February 22, 2017, I Heart Intelligence released an article titled, “Here’s How The ‘Blue Whale’ Suicide Game Is Killing Teens On Social Media.” In the article, it states that the “frightening trend” is spreading across “social media sites in Russia and spreading across the world.”
I Heart Intelligence reports the different names for the game as follows.
THE SHOCKING GAME – (“СИНИЙ КИТ”) GOES BY A FEW NAMES:
– SINIY KIT (“A BLUE WHALE ”,” СИНИЙ КИТ “),
– TIKHIY DOM (“ A QUIET HOUSE/A SILENT HOUSE ”, ” ТИХИЙ ДОМ “,” #ТИХИЙДОМ “),
– MORE KITOV (“ A SEA/A BUNCH OF WHALES ”,” МОРЕ КИТОВ “,” #МОРЕКИТОВ “),
– F53, F57, F58 AND RAZBUDI MENYA V 4:20 (“ WAKE ME UP 4.20 AM ”,” РАЗБУДИ МЕНЯ В 420 “,” #РАЗБУДИМЕНЯВ420 “).
The story behind the game goes as follows. Once you sign up to play the game, you receive your curator. Your curator then gives you different tasks to do over the next 50 days, with the first task normally coming at 4:20 am. Every time you accomplish a task, you must provide photographic or video proof of completion. After doing this for 50 days, the player is pushed to commit suicide in order to “win the game.”
On February 21, 2017, RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty reported that people are finding curators by using the Russian-language hashtags of “blue whale,” “sea of whales,” “I’m in the game,” “Wake me at 4:20,” “F58,” along with many others. The often seen flying whale is said to be a chosen symbol due to whales committing suicide by jumping out of the water and beaching themselves on land. It is said that the whales are going to freedom.
The trend was said to have started on the largest European online social media and social networking service, VKontakte. While the site offers services in several languages, it is very popular among those who speak Russian.
RFE/RL reports that there were 4,000 searches for the hashtags on January 20, 2017, alone. Journalists from RFE/RL also claimed to have spoken with a curator. The conversation read as follows.
“I want to play the game,” an RFE/RL correspondent wrote after creating a fake profile for a 15-year-old girl on the popular Russian social media site VKontakte.
“Are you sure? There is no way back,” responded a so-called curator of the Blue Whale game.
“Yes. What does that mean — no way back?”
“You can’t leave the game once you begin.”
“I’m ready.” Then the curator explained the rules.
“You carry out each task diligently, and no one must know about it. When you finish a task, you send me a photo. And at the end of the game, you die. Are you ready?”
“And if I want to get out?”
“I have all your information. They will come after you.”
Sea Of Whales
RFE/RL claims the first task given to their fake Internet persona was to scratch the “F58” symbol into their arm. RFE/RL replied by sending a photoshopped picture to prove completion, at which point communication with the curator ended. Over the course of a week, RFE/RL claimed they managed to speak to over a dozen people who claimed to either be players or curators.
The Daily Mail reported the deaths of two young school girls, Yulia Konstantinova, 15, and Veronika Volkova, 16 could be related to the Blue Whale Game. The two girls reportedly fell from an apartment building over the weekend. While there is some speculation over the deaths, shortly before the incident, Yulia had posted “End” to her social media page with a picture of a blue whale. Veronika wrote, “Sense is lost… End.”
Two teenage boys were said to be detained after possibly filming the incident.
A video uploaded to the Instagram account shamil.azizov, shows two girls jumping off of what appears to be an apartment building. Some have claimed that the video is of Yulia Konstantinova, and Veronika Volkova.
Others have claimed the video is a spoof, at least the first clip. Sadly, several parody videos have came out following the death of the two young girls.
However, while the first clip can be argued of being the fake, the clips that follow look to be actual video of of people attempting suicide by jumping off of buildings. Several clips appear to be the same building at different angles.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic and disturbing scenes that may not be acceptable for all audiences.
The rough translation of the post that goes with the video reads as follows.
[email protected] GOD STOP, DO NOT play this game! !
painful to watch
DEAR PARENTS BE CLOSE TO THE CHILDREN MAY YOUR they lack warmth and care.
CHILDREN NEED YOU AND YOUR LOVE !!
NOT YOUR MONEY !! Every Parent Should Know !!!!
On the social networking site “in contact”, there are communities that create a maniac. Network Administration “in contact” formally prohibits establishment of such communities, but in reality these communities continue to exist.
Police distributed to parents and teachers advice on the prevention of teenage suicide.
if a child is involved in the group of social networks under the names Tihiydom # # # Siniykit Morekitov Razbudimenyav420 # F57 # # 153 # 157 # f58 # d28 # morekitov tihiydom # # # hochuvigru Milky Way … # 50dneyDoMoego and divided heshtegami house # # # domkitov hochuvigru. # Ff33 # mlechnyyput # yavigre also need to pay attention to similar phrases in messages or notes on pages), drawing on the hands, notebooks or other places whales and butterflies, corresponding with strangers, not getting enough sleep, even if you go to bed early (to be to know whether the teenager sleeping in the early morning); closes the access to his page on the social networks. Vsluchae occurrence of certain suspicions, police advises parents to take the following actions: Set the caring relationship with the child; listen carefully and do not argue with him, not to offer consolation unjustified, suggest constructive approaches to solving problems, do not leave your child alone in a situation of high risk of suicide to seek help from professionals, to realize that the teenager is a person; maintain a caring attitude. Earlier, the Ministry of Education noted that the game # # quiet house or Blue Whale is a serious threat for minors.
Astana Kazakhstan # # # # Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan # Russian # Moskvann
Multiple Suicides Reported In Only Days
Just days later, a 15-year-old known only as “Ekaterina” was critically injured after she fell to the snow covered ground off of a flat in Krasnoyarsk.
Only two days before Yulia and Veronika’s accident, a 14-year-old girl from Chita reportedly threw herself under a commuter train.
While the horrifying social media trend appears to have started on VKontakte, it is no longer contained to the area. The different hashtags have been beginning to make their rounds on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media websites.
Instagram is becoming somewhat of a second home to some of the more disturbing videos and pictures related to the trend. In one video, strange music plays as we see an arm that appears to have a very deep, and presumably self-induced, cut across the wrist. The hand bends around, forcing the wound to leak blood as the music plays.
The video then cuts to clips of people jumping to their death. At the top of the screen it reads, “не ведитесь на зто #антикит,” which according to Google translate reads, “Do not get fooled by this #Antikit.” The video has over 25,000 views after it was uploaded to the Instagram account 91bosya.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic and disturbing scenes that may not be acceptable for all audiences.
91bosya posted another video that that shows a young girl standing on a roof crying. The video is high quality, and clearly not taken with a cell phone by other teenagers. The girl’s sleeve is exposed, showing a whale drawn on her arm out of what is meant to be blood. The video zooms in on the girl’s face just before she jumps off the roof.
She then wakes up on the ground and stands up. The girl’s parents run out of a building and see their daughter on the ground. The girl tries to speak to her parents, but they run past her and that is when she notices that her body is still on the ground.
The girl begins to cry as her parents cry and hold her body while a concerned crowd begins to gather. Another girl enters the video and tells her that the “Blue Whale” is a hoax, as in the girl should not believe it. The young girl begins to cry again and apologizes for what she has done.
The screen fades to black and we are told that over 90 teenagers have committed suicide due to this game.
Russian Policy Today
On the Instagram account of russian_policy_today, a video was posted that shows a girl jumping off a roof. The poor quality and quick cut from the first clip has lead some to believe the footage to be from a real suicide.
As the first girl on the video jumps, it cuts to the anti-suicide video above. The rough translation on the post reads as follows.
russian_policy_today @ Regrann from @kremlin_video – The girl was in the “whales game.”
Dear parents, please keep track of your kids!
“Sea of whales.” “Blue whale.”
“Silent House” – groups in social networks, which promotes the idea of suicide, it is proposed to come into play, the finale of which is to commit suicide.
In this game moderators have information about the player needed to provide the emotional impact on the immature child’s psyche.
Dear subscribers, please repost MAXIMUM and dissemination of this information.
What should pay attention:
Teen wakes up early in the morning, about 4 am;
Lack of sleep and a complete removal from the world.
Check cuts on hands.
Draws whales, unicorns and butterflies.
Member of Group “Sea Whale”, “Wake me up at 4:20,” “Silent House”, “F57”, “F58”, “Whales float up”, “Nyapoka”, “50 days before my …”
In correspondence your child has the phrase “Wake me up at 4:20 am,” “I’m in the game.”
If there are anywhere from 50 digits or less.
Hashtags, which extends morekitov game # # # tihiydom hochuvigru mlechnyyput # # f53 # f57 # f58 # d28 # siniykit tihiydom # # whale – #regrann
On Twitter users have been tweeting with the different hashtags. Multiple tweets were made with the #F57 hashtag throughout the month of February, many of which were people claiming to be searching for curators, while a few claimed to be curators.
On Facebook, several groups were reportedly started and already shut down for being related to the Blue Whale Game. While at first glance it does appear to be a recent trend, there is evidence that this problem has existed possibly for years.
On November 22, 2016, Tass reported that 21-year-old Filipp Budeikin was arrested after it was discovered he was an administrator for a “death group” on the VKontakte social network.
On November 15, 2016, Russia’s Investigation Committee announced Budeikin had been charged with persuading kids to commit suicide. Budeikin, who went by the name “Filipp the Fox” online, is believed to be partially responsible for the suicide of at least 15 minors.
According to the Committee, from December 2013 to May 2016 at least eight virtual groups had been established on VKontakte for the purpose of promoting the act of suicide. According to investigators, there were ten “death group” admins that testified against Budeikin, saying he had been persuading underage children to commit suicide by sending them messages on social media.
Novaya Gazeta reported that “Miron Setkh,” “Eva Reich,” and “More Kitov” were some of the people that helped Budeikin push teenagers to suicide.
Rita Palenkova and Renata Kambolina
In many of the areas dedicated to the Blue Whale Game you will come across the name Renata Kambolina. You will also see the name Rita Palenkova, which is confusing because apparently the teenage girl was known by both names. After committing suicide in 2015 both names would be known around the world.
In November of 2015, the world was shocked when 17-year-old Rita Palenkova posted two pictures to her social media moments before taking her life by jumping in front of an oncoming train.
The message that went along with her last picture only read, “Goodbye.”
Police said the teenage girl had been having problems with her boyfriend. The Mirror reported that after the girl’s death her boyfriend posted on his page on a Russian social media site asking people not to send him any messages of condolences.
Rita’s last pictures have become a part of the Blue Whale community, with many altered versions and people attempting to recreate the eerie photos. Some groups on VKontakte appear to have a strange fascination with the deceased girl. Rita’s loved ones were shocked to find out pictures of Rita’s decapitated body after the suicide were released on the Web. It is rumored that people have paid rather large bounties for rare pictures of Rita before and after her death.
On May 26, 2016, The Daily Mail released an article claiming that at least 130 teenagers had committed suicide between November 2015 and April 2016 due to an online trend. Almost all of the children were said to come from happy homes.
Investigators believed there could be roughly 1,500 social networking groups dedicated to promoting suicide. These groups are reported to have adults and children working together.
The groups are said to be knowledgeable with psychology. The people behind these death groups know how to insult and degrade both genders, in most cases, literally destroying the impressionable teenager’s mind and self esteem. It is common for teenage girls to be convinced they are fat, and for teenage boys to believe they are unwanted losers.
Once the victim believes the insults that have been strategically placed into their head day after day, and the victim reaches a depressed state, the curator begins telling them how much better everything will be once the they take their own lives. Victims are told how their problems will no longer exist and they will finally truly be free.
Wake Me Up at 4.20
On Christmas Day 2015, 12-year-old Elya Davydova fell off a 14th-floor apartment block to her death. Elya’s mother Elena said she discovered that her daughter had been secretly getting online at night.
Elya was a member of the group “Wake Me Up at 4.20.” The group convened at 4:20 am and had over a quarter million subscribers before it was shut down. It was common for Elya to stay online until after 6:00 am while her family slept.
Shortly before her death, Elena claims Elya received a phone call and rushed out of the house to answer it. Elya never returned. Elena believes the phone call was from whoever was manipulating her daughter.
After her daughter’s death, Elena joined several of the online groups pretending to be a teenager. It was on these sites that she learned the term “cutting out” meant to commit suicide.
Elena told the Daily Mail that each of the members of one of the groups received a date, time, and a place for their suicide. The map also predicted future suicides as well.
A History of Suicide
In 1995 both Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have had a history of problems with teenage suicide. However, Kyrgyzstan teenage suicide numbers have been substantially lower in comparison to Kazakhstan.
According to suicide.org, in 2003 Kazakhstan had the 4th highest suicide numbers in the world. To put that in comparison, Kyrgyzstan was ranked 50th in 2004, and the USA came in 43rd.
In these years, online death groups were barely an idea, let alone an actual thing with the capability to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. Unlike most trends, these death groups have a clear history that goes back to at least 2013. As the Internet becomes a bigger part of our everyday lives, it appears these darker areas will continue to grow as well.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, you can reach out for help by calling 1-800-273-8255, or by clicking here!