Ohio School District Warns of Dangerous Social Media Game

Feb 3, 2018

Credit KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Massillon City School District is warning about a dangerous social media game called the "Blue Whale Challenge."

The game recruits players through social media and once they download the app, they are put through 50 challenges.

With each completed challenge, the risks become more severe. After the player completes all the challenges, they are told to kill themselves if they want to win the game.

If a player tries to withdraw, the game’s developers either try to blackmail or threaten them.

John Ackerman, an expert in pediatric suicide prevention at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, says noticing the warning signs is the best way to stop the game from spreading.


“We know how big an issue youth self-harm and suicide is in school and we want to equip parents with how to respond. But the much more common scenario is the traditional warning signs and making sure families have dialog in the first place and know how to address it.”

Ackerman says the game first emerged about six months ago.