What’s the best way to ensure your children’s safety from online gaming dangers?
The memes that might get you jailed in Russia Rina Palenkova's death was teenages in a certain type of chat room hosted by Cyber sex chat individual largest social network VKontakte. These forums were places where teenagers met to talk about everyday things like school and which classmates they fancied, as well as darker subject matter: depression, loneliness and suicide.
Scary stories were exchanged. The spookiness of these stories came from how real they seemed, something often achieved through gamrs pictures or doctored footage. It is the online equivalent of the claim made by classic horror films that they are "based on true events". Because at the heart of any good ghost story is a sliver of plausibility.
It was in these groups, where the line between fact and fiction was often blurred, that users posted feverishly about Rina. In some instances, they lauded her for ending her life.
Videos purporting to be her final moments were posted online. But amid the rumours, there was a problem. A little over a fortnight later, so did Diana Kuznetsova, a teenager from the same city.
chat gays When the parents examined the online s left behind by their daughters, they found something curious - the two girls were part of similar online groups. In these groups were drawings of Rina Palenkova, posts about suicide and numerous mentions of blue whales. Why blue whales? There has been much speculation about how whales became linked to suicide in these groups.
Some chtating claim it is because whales have been known to beach themselves, a phenomenon that has puzzled scientists.
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Others say that it is a reference to lyrics from a Russian rock band horny chat sevilla Lumen. It's difficult, of course, gxmes say why certain images particularly resonate. Whales are solitary-seeming, sad-looking animals. They make for good memes. One of the most widely shared images was of a whale flying over a city at night.
It captured the spirit of these groups - melancholy and quietly surreal. But it wasn't until May that speculation about blue whales and chattinh became part of the national conversation in Russia. An article by journalist Galina Mursalieva in Novaya Gazeta, an investigative newspaper, sent ror story into overdrive. In this game, so-called "curators" would set players 50 tasks over 50 days.
On the last day the user was instructed to take their own life. The Novaya Gazeta report estimated that children might have killed themselves between November and April because of their participation in these groups. It would come to be friends first chat anyone worldwide as the Blue Whale challenge. It did not take bgay chat for the story to cause considerable alarm.
The governor for Ulyanovsk in western Russia went on television to compare the Blue Whale challenge to the Islamic State group. Soon the panic spread outside Russia.
In Georgia, US, a year-old girl killed herself. It was only later when her family had learned about the Blue Whale challenge that they realised the ificance of the metre-high paintings she had finished at school shortly before she died. They appeared to onlin of blue whales.
teenagegs A few days before she died, Konstantinova had posted an image of a blue whale on her Instagram. The suspect In Novemberyear-old Philipp Budeikin was arrested, charged with inciting teenagers to suicide. Budeikin appeared to v chat free culpability. He told Russian media outlet Saint-Petersburg. I was cleansing our society of such people. Sometimes I start to think that it's wrong, but in the end I had the feeling I was doing the right thing.
A onllne psychology student, the impression given by the media was that he had used highly developed tactics to manipulate teenagers into killing themselves. He said he had created the game in under the name "f57", combining the sound of the start of his name, Philipp, and the last two digits of his phone. On 10 May gqmes pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison. Further investigation, however, has revealed that little about the Blue Whale challenge was quite as straightforward as it seemed.
Evgeny Berg was on his way to work when he first read about the Vkontakte chat rooms. It was May but it was chat therapy gloomy. I thought 'Oh my God, there is a man out there who is trying to kill a lot of children in Russia. His research took online chatting games for teenagers to Sergey Pestov, the father of one of the girls who died around Christmas They produced a brochure.
It implied that foreign intelligence might be to blame for their daughter's death and that operatives were destroying the Russian people by inciting their children to suicide. Pestov became a key source of statistics for the original Novaya Gazeta piece. But even though it is still being used by many news outlets, the figure is tenuous. According to Evgeny Berg and Meduza, it originates with a parent trying to unravel the reasons behind a personal tragedy.
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The Novaya Gazeta article has been viewed over one and a half million times, according to the paper. She rejected noline claim that her report relied on a single flawed statistic. This is absolutely wrong. It was based on the conclusions of over parents who lost their children. The father of the girl who died just helped during that period of time.
I don't have any reason not to trust them. I checked many things. She says she published it because she wanted to spur into action investigators who she thought weren't taking the problem seriously enough. But despite the considerable column inches dedicated to the teen emo chat over the years, not a single suicide has so far been proved to be linked to teeenagers groups, neither by journalists nor police.
How can it be confirmed? How can the cause of a suicide ever be "proved"? It might be more accurate to say that teenagers suffering from depression, some of them suicidal, could be drawn to groups that deal with that topic.
These same children may use similar images, like blue whales, to articulate their feelings online. With its surreal memes and creepy stories that blur fact and fiction, the subculture of teenage messaging boards is easy for adults to misinterpret.
It is possible that journalists and concerned parents accessed these groups and brought together disparate elements into a story that wasn't really there. When she and her colleagues entered the online groups alleged to be connected with the Blue Whale challenge, they found something strange.
In fact, Arkhipova's research suggests that the chayting might not have really existed in any substantial way before the Novaya Gazeta article was published. Arkhipova says that the "curators" she came across online were copycats, acting out step by step the parts of a game that was being widely reported in the press. Oddly, it might have something to do with his music career.
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Friends of Budeikin, speaking to chat sexy real florence missouri girls investigative journalist Evgeny Berg, disputed the xhatting that he is an evil mastermind. In fact, they say that he filled online groups with "shock" content related to Rina Palenkova and suicide in order to get as many followers as possible - and then advertise his music.
It is a common practice on VKontakte, where people exploit access to a large amount of followers to advertise other gqmes or sell products. When Budeikin was arrested, there were 15 charges against him. By the following month, all but one had collapsed. The truth at chtting heart of the Blue Whale challenge is surely both more sad and more mundane than the breathless articles might have us believe. Russia's suicide rates are high especially among the young.
It has one of the highest rates of adolescent suicide in the gamees. Yes, some teenagers appear to have been drawn into online forums chhatting suicide was being discussed. And in those forums, blue whale memes were being shared. But the idea of a sinister game, one that slowly roped in vulnerable teens and led them down an increasingly tortured path to suicide, seems to be a simplistic explanation for a complex problem.
There is no silver bullet for tackling suicide amongst teenagers. Nor is there a bogeyman that can be locked up to prevent it. Do you have a story for us?
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