Authorities, schools warning parents of potentially fatal 'Blue Whale' challenge

Tyler, Texas (KETK/WKRG) - Authorities and school districts are warning parents about a potentially fatal "game" making its way around the United States

The "Blue Whale" challenge encourages players to harm themselves and possibly commit suicide. Parents in Texas are blaming the sick game for their son's death.

The parents of Isaiah Gonzalez, 15, of San Antonio, who would have been a sophomore this upcoming school year, found him hanging in his closet from an apparent suicide. KSAT reports his cell phone was propped up near him, broadcasting the suicide.

According to research done by Snopes, the player signs up to follow an administrator's tasks over the course of 50 days, which can include anything from cutting yourself to listening to a song. The player wins when they complete the final task, committing suicide, on the 50th day.

Peer pressure is associated with the game through apps like Snapchat, according to WKRG. Teenagers supposedly "tag" each other and challenge them to play. The student then downloads the Blue Whale app, which hacks into their personal information and cannot be deleted. The app originators then threaten the teenagers with harm to their families or releasing of personal information until they kill themselves.

Various media reports claim that as many as 130 people killed themselves in Russia from playing the game. Snopes says those claims are unproven, though they do acknowledge the game as a potential danger.

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