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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the response of Facebook, Google and Yahoo! on a plea to direct these firms to take down the links of Blue Whale Challenge, an internet-based suicide game that has been allegedly linked to several deaths of children worldwide. A Bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi Police, asking these to inform about the steps taken in this regard. While issuing notice to the Indian units of the internet giants, the Bench also directed these firms to file a status report with regard to the steps they had taken in pursuance to Centre's direction to ban the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’. The plea, filed by advocate Gurmeet Singh, has sought immediate directions to restrain the internet firms from uploading any material pertaining to the challenge game, citing cases of suicide by children in India and abroad. The court listed the matter for August 28 by when it has sought the responses from all the authorities. Meanwhile, Delhi Police counsel Sanjoy Ghose informed the court that the cyber security cell was active in this regard and the Centre had also issued a direction. On August 15, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had directed the internet majors — Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft and Yahoo! — to immediately remove the links of the Blue Whale Challenge. The sudden popularity of the lethal online game, in which the final task requires the player to commit suicide, had forced the government to issue the directions to the internet firms to remove the links of the game. The high court had on August 17 expressed concern over children allegedly committing suicide while playing the game. The Blue Whale Challenge is reportedly a suicide game in which the player is given certain tasks to complete over a period of 50 days and the final task leads him or her to commit suicide.
The player is also asked to share photos after finishing each challenge.More than six children across India in the age group of 12-19 years have taken their lives playing this game within a span of two weeks, reports have said. Deaths of teenagers have also been reported from other countries including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, Bulgaria, Chile and Italy, the PIL has said.