The games like Momo Challenge and Blue Whale are a menace to any society. These games have reportedly been used to incite self-harm and in extreme cases encourage suicide among the youth.
Information Technology Minister Dr. Khalid Maqbool has announced a ban on these suicidal games in Pakistan. While speaking to the media, he said,
“These games don’t have any place in Pakistan as they are destroying the youth and are one of the key players in suicides taking place worldwide.”
He added that the Cyber Crime Division of Pakistan will be directed to take severe steps against people involved in developing and spread of such applications.
It is to be noted that there isn’t any standalone application on app store for accessing these games. In fact, the popular messaging application WhatsApp is being used to lure innocent teenagers into participating in these challenges. So, we are not sure how the government plans to ban the application or what are they protocols they will follow to disrupt the game, if being played, on WhatsApp. Since the application is end-to-end encrypted and doesn’t share user data with third parties or even government of any country.
The Blue Whale Challenge was started by a Russian and it has reportedly claimed many lives in Pakistan, India and other countries. The Challenge involves an administrator giving tasks to the game participants mostly involving self-harm and living in extreme situations. Momo Challenge is also somewhat similar, a WhatsApp account sends graphic threats to participants and instructs them to perform a series of violent tasks.
Parents should actively keep a check on their children and instantly act upon if they notice something unusual in mood or activities of them.
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