WKRG.com reports Baldwin County parents have been warned of an app that gamifies suicide. You play the app and it gets you to do simple things like listen to a song. But then it evolves into much worse requests like cutting yourself. The app collects sensitive information about you from your device. It's reported that the administrators of the app use blackmail to 'force' players to keep playing the game. The end result is you have to kill yourself otherwise they will release your sensitive data to your social network or threaten to harm your family.
Balwin County school safety supervisor Anthony Sampson says there have been no confirmed suicides with the app in Baldwin County.
WKRG spoke with a youth therapist from Altapointe, Eddie Pratt. Pratt says in their article:
...an app like this targets the most vulnerable and parents have to stay involved. “Kids are very enticed into a lot of activities, a lot of social media and I think as much as they have access to it parents and guardians have to be equally as informed about where they are going.”
A cursory search for the 'Blue Whale' app will yield very little results as the major app outlets would never carry such a "game". There is some debate about whether this is an urban myth or if it is indeed real. Real or not always, use caution when using the internet, no matter your age. Here are some resources from Common Sense Media about kids and apps/internet usage.
UPDATE: Metro.uk is claiming that the inventor of the app is being held in a Russian prison.
Philipp Budeikin, 21, from Russia, is being held on charges of inciting at least 16 schoolgirls to kill themselves by taking part in a game he invented called ‘Blue Whale’.
The 21-year-old, who has now confessed to the crimes, says he thinks his victims were just ‘biological waste’ and told police that they were ‘happy to die’ and that he was ‘cleansing society’.