With the hashtag “Blue whale” hides the story of the loss of spiritual balance

Initially, there is only this picture: Hope — girl on the strength of twelve years. She looks tense, and presses his left hand to his mouth, and his right hand makes a selfie. We cannot determine exactly where it is: whether it is sports ground or the roof? And why does she look so worried?

A girl sends this picture to Instagram, below she writes in Russian: “On the roof”. To this she added the hashtag: “#Sirikit”. 280 visits.

Here are some comments: “It’s cool,” writes one user.

Young woman: “What? You play “Blue whale?”

And another woman: “Tell me, are you nuts? How old are you actually?”

One # hashtag is enough to cause users a range of scenarios: Hope, this girl, obviously, was the victim of one perverse “games”. Someone who’s totally a stranger drove her into a spiral of psychological pressure. And now this girl wants to commit suicide.

This alleged “game” is called as hashtag, which was used by Hope: “the Blue whale”. The name prompted by the emissions of the whales to shore — when these animals come and die on the coast. However, in this “game” this phenomenon is explained as voluntary suicide, this takes place not only in Russia but also in Eastern Europe and Spain he came to America.

Alleged inventor: “Phillip Fox”

The question of whether this “game” really, or is it just a phantom, is controversial. At least experts call the “Blue whale” a fake, a hoax — a story invented by a couple of teenagers. However, the origin of this story is well documented, it is associated with a young man, whose shares were contributed to the creation of a “Blue whale”: Philippe B. In the Russian-speaking Internet, he is known by the nickname “Fox Philip.”

Now this man, 21-year appeared in court in Saint-Petersburg. The Prosecutor’s office accuses him of incitement to suicide at least 15 occasions. He allegedly created in the Russian equivalent of Facebook, Vkontakte at least eight groups, whose members he urged to himself to mutilate themselves or commit suicide.

As is generally the case could go that far? The reason lies in the depths of the Russian Internet, this is the story of constant striving to be the center of attention, to be recognized and to influence, what you end up with perverted versions. Much has been written on the website wikireality.ru the protagonists of this story have put their own articles — the information is mostly consistent with what was published in the Russian media about the “Blue whale”.

When you read, see and listen to the interview with Philip B. then there is an image of a young man who can deftly manipulate people and acts at the same time misanthropic and cold. He claims that a few years studying psychology, and that, in his own words, he also suffers from bipolar mental disorders. However it is judicial-psychological examination finds him perfectly healthy.

His goal: to attract attention

The story begins with the alleged suicide girls one city on the far Eastern edge of Russia. In a network of Vkontakte it in November 2015, he wrote his last words: “”nya.bye.” The first word (s) simulates the sound of a cat in Japanese language published in the meow. The second word —”yet” — in Russian means good bye. To this she attached two of their selfie in the background of a moving train. The next day, the media reported the death of the young woman on the train tracks.

On Internet forums her death was extolled, her selfie was processed and distributed, the hype has spread on social network, her alleged suicide was symbolic. Every once heard about her death, and this has caused excitement among fans ride the bandwagon. Teens faked his own death, and a few days later went online to see how much attention they were able to bring yourself. One of those who also participated in this, was Philip B.

He learned about the incident with Rina from one group to network Vkontakte under the name of F57, which member she was. This group was divided between a mainly psychedelic videos and horror movies. Her death was discussed in this closed circle, at some point, users posted pictures and videos of cases of suicide, cut hands, teenagers on the bridge. Arose the rumor that the F57 is a sect that encouraged young people to suicide. This group was removed from the Internet. B. now saw his chance: he boasted that he was the administrator and leader of the F57. He founded a new group, made contact with the administrators of other groups, constantly texting girls — he got what he wanted — attention.

A big fuss then in may 2016: the Russian journalist Galina murzalieva published an article on the alleged “groups of death” in the network Vkontakte. And although the research and the article itself was full evidentiary errors, the text read, a few days after it is published, millions of people. One of those most quoted in this article, was Philip B. a wide-scale discussion: B. spoke publicly together with the administrator of another group called the “Sea of whales”, has denied any responsibility for his suicide. His reasoning: he only wanted to have as many supporters to spread in these groups. Journalist murzalieva, for its part, continued to look for new cases and made a cheat sheet for parents. Now she says about 130 suicides that are related to the game “Blue whale”, the positioning is still weak evidence.

Then in November of 2016 B. was arrested: investigators believe they can prove incitement to suicide in 15 cases. Now 21-year-old B. the court gave a confession, he talked about 17 cases. This process must now make clear whether there is actually a “Blue whale” and what role was played by B.: whether it supports, for example, a contact with two girls from the Irkutsk? One of the girls a few days before his suicide have placed on the Internet the blue whale with relevant hashtags.

If you dig on the Internet according to the rules of this “game”, it should be stated that there is also little facts and they contradict each other: young people, especially girls aged twelve to 16 years, placed in social networks pictures and notes, supply them with hashtags, which means something like “#Sirikit”, “#Agatova”, “#Disneychane”. The so-called curator identifies as a result of these hashtag participants, directly communicates with them, gives them jobs.

Online run lists that are tasks assigned by the supervisor before the participants. 50 days, 50 tasks, the intensity of which continuously increases. They sound like the instructions that should break the psyche of the participants and make them obedient.

“Get up in 4 hours and 20 minutes and see psychedelic videos and films of the horrors that sends you your supervisor”.

“Cut on her arm,f57′, send the curator a photo”.

“Climbed up on the roof and wave your legs at its edge.”

The latest mission comes after 50 days. It reads: “Do suicide”.

Parents, authorities and media reacted

To prevent more such “games” the social network responded to the “Blue whale”. The network Vkontakte not find any posts with this hashtag. If, for example, Instagram to gain the English hashtag “#bluewhalechallenge”, then I get a warning: “the article with the words or symbols that you’re looking for, you can often encourage behavior that can lead to injury or even death. If you are experiencing a hard time right now, we would be glad to help you.” Here you specify the links on which you can get help.

However, over the past few weeks the fame of this “game” is getting wider, it no longer is limited to Russia: the English media reported that in various countries in South America, authorities believe that some cases of suicide hides the connection with the “Blue whale”. Romania’s interior Minister Dan Carmen (Carmen Dan) first concern about this phenomenon. However, after examining more than 50 deaths among young people have ruled out any connection.

In the German-speaking region while there are no known cases, said Claudia Sardi (Sardi Claudia) from the portal for the protection of youth saferinternet.at — and even if the tabloid press says the contrary, so far there is no confirmation of the investigators. On this occasion, Sardi has shared another observation after she was intensively engaged in the “Blue whale”: “In most countries, this topic is no longer relevant.” Despite this, it is necessary in any case to take seriously the specific appeals for help: “we Cannot exclude that this phenomenon can really imitate.”

The movement against the “Blue whale”

Hope, the girl with a selfie on the roof probably wasn’t an activist imaginary “group of death” and never played seriously with my life. “No, I don’t play “Blue whale”, she replied to one concerned comment. She just wanted, as it seems to attract attention with this # hashtag. The next selfie shows how it was fooling around with his girlfriend.

Some Internet users consider the search for the teen at risk, as their duty: they are actively looking for social networks of people who use these hashtags, engage them, offer them help. Some write: “You are beautiful, your life is of value”, others quote the Bible. This produces groups that offer assistance to youth suffering from depression.

That’s the name of one of these groups on Twitter: “Against the Blue whale. I — Dolphin”.