Blue Whale Challenge Can Provide Clues For Fighting Terrorism

The ease with which a 22 year old student and a 17 year old girl could manipulate scores of teenagers around the world into unreasonable absurdities, including self-mutilation and suicides, has striking similarities with the way masters of terrorism indoctrinate youngsters and convert them into human bombs. Understanding Blue Whale psychology and the social risk factors can help us in the war on terrorism.
Blue Whale Challenge Can Provide Clues For Fighting Terrorism
Source - Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABilisim-sucu.jpg)

The Intriguing Phenomenon of Blue Whale Challenge

One of the News Headlines on 31st August, 2017 related to the arrest of a 17 year old girl in Russia as the master-mind behind running of Blue Whale Challenge, an internet phenomenon that is reported to have claimed more than a hundred lives. This so called “game” is a phenomenon that has intrigued almost everybody, from the layman to the experts, in its capability to manipulate vulnerable teenagers around the world and drag them in a series of dangerous, harmful, self-inflicting and finally, suicidal actions.

Philip Budeikin, the 22 year old Russian psychology student,

who is said to have invented the Blue Whale Challenge, has already been arrested and is currently in prison. Nicknamed Philipp Lis (Fox), he has been charged with inciting young people to kill and was sentenced 3 years in an open prison by a Siberian Court. For a man whose actions have led to victimization of youngsters in several countries that include Russia, United States, China, Italy, India and several other countries, the 3 year sentence is being criticized as too lenient, reflecting a lack of capacity and laws to deal with such crimes. The Russian teenager girl is reported to be organizing the conduct of the game, by providing tasks to the operators running the show, and is one of those who played the game, but did not complete it. Philip Budeikin, when asked about his motives, seemed to have commented with disdain that the victims were actually worthless individuals and he was merely cleansing the society.

Can we smell a strange similarity with Terrorism: Except that there is no Enemy

The ease with which, the administrators of Blue Whale Challenge have been able to successfully manipulate the psyche of vulnerable teenagers, is almost a reminder of the ease with which politically motivated entities are able to engage youngsters for carrying out terrorist attacks, often of a suicidal nature. There is something strangely similar about the psychological manipulation in both case. The Masters of Terrorism also target a lot of people, and are able to trap some vulnerable individuals at the end, converting them into human bombs and suicidal destructors.

If a 22 year old psychology student and a 17 year old girl were able to manipulate so many around the world. Just imagine the risk that can be posed by organized agencies and State and non-State actors


trying to convert humans into moving weapons of destruction. The examples of scores of religious terrorist groups, with operations ranging from very small locations to those having global presence, only serves to highlight that the real threat in terrorism is not the suicidal bomber, but the handler, and even more, just like in the case of Blue Whale Challenge, those who invent and mastermind these operations.

The civilized world must urgently sit up and take note. The Blue Whale phenomenon tells us that fighting terrorism is not actually a war on terrorists. You can kill some, but they will be replaced with new manipulated individuals. In fact, it may be useful to appreciate that the suicidal bombers and even those spraying bullets or mowing down people are as much a victim of terrorism, as are their innocent victims.

The real war with terrorism is with their handlers, their manipulators, and finally, the agencies and actors who invent this game of psychological manipulation. Perhaps, there is a need to examine the tools that these psychological manipulators of deaths use in manipulating individuals into violence.

Understanding Blue Whale can help us fight Terrorism

The death and victimization of innocent youngsters in the Blue Whale phenomenon tells us a lot about the vulnerabilities that our existing society suffers from. If unknown persons masquerading as administrators of what is little more than an internet game can gain so much influence over teenagers, it is not difficult to appreciate the influence that can be potentially gained by destructive agencies in the name of race, religion or other similar grounds. The solution to both Blue Whale type problems and terrorism may eventually lie in understanding these vulnerabilities and addressing them. Perhaps, it is a challenge that is beyond the capacity of the States and Governments. Perhaps, it is a challenge that must be taken up by the society as a whole.

If, we are the custodian of our children and our future, we, the society must rise to this challenge. Blue Whale comes as an opportunity to understand how the agents of death can manipulate people among us into destruction.

We must not let it go waste!



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