Anonymous, the proliferate hacktivist group, has reportedly launched a new campaign called #OpBlueWhale, in efforts to stop teenagers from participating in a bizarre and sinister online suicide game called the Blue Whale challenge. The game's alleged popularity in Russia has also raised concerns in other European countries, including Britain.
The game allegedly encourages youngsters to participate in a series of harmful tasks for 50 straight days, which includes accomplishing tasks such as cutting themselves, sleeping and waking at odd times and more. At the end of 50 days, teens are then allegedly told to kill themselves. The game has reportedly resulted in the deaths of nearly Russian 130 teens.
"We launch that operation #OpBluewhale to save all children in Europe from that dangerous game. Behind of that game is Russian, Romanian criminals. We have found all moderators of that game, and we have all information about the moderators. We will destroy that game. We have already saved a lot of children from suicide," one Anonymous hacker told HackRead.
The proliferation of such suicide games and the increasing deaths they have caused has led the Russian government to introduce a new bill supporting criminal punishment for those involved in encouraging suicide among youngsters.
"By our bill we for the first time in Russia put a barrier before those who push children to suicide and who organize potentially lethal games, such as 'Fairy', 'Blue Whale' or 'Run or Die', [and] those who promote clinging to moving trains or suicide groups on the internet," Duma deputy speaker Irina Yarovaya said, Russian state media RT reported.
British police are now warning parents about the dangers of the Blue Whale challenge, the DailyMail reported.
Meanwhile, Anonymous allegedly claims to have identified some of the administrators believed to be involved in the game. The hacktivists aim to hunt and shut down the mastermind behind the campaign. The group is also believed to have reached out to teenagers urging them to refrain from participating in such online games and report anyone attempting to force them to get involved in self-harmful activities.