Blocking ‘Blue Whale’ game is not that easy: Expert

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Thu, 05 Apr 2018 - 06:22 GMT

Screenshot of Blue Whale Challenge

Screenshot of Blue Whale Challenge

CAIRO - 5 April 2018: The Head of Egyptian Federation for Electronic Games, Sherief Abdelbaky, stated on Thursday that blocking any site or game needs high technical capabilities and he suggested providing support and strong local game alternatives.

His statement came as a reply to demands calling for the blocking of the “Blue Whale” game after it allegedly claimed the life of the son of former Egyptian MP Hamdy al-Fakharany, who is believed to have been manipulated into committing suicide by the game.

Known as the “Blue Whale Challenge”, the game requires players to go through 50 dangerous tasks over the course of 50 days. The tasks often begin with self-harm, leading up to the final challenge which is suicide.

After her brother was found dead in his room on Monday, Fakharany’s daughter said that she found several notes with scribbled handwriting and unknown symbols referring to the infamous Blue Whale game.

She added that her brother was a religious boy and did not have any intention to commit suicide. “He challenged the game, but it won in the end,” she continued.

Fakharany’s daughter said that she found out the scribbles in her brother’s room were notes about the 50 challenges, adding that the last direction was to keep the game in complete secrecy, and delete it, before going forward with the suicide.

Ahmed Zidan, secretary of Parliament's Information and Communications Technology Committee, told Egypt Today that he will propose a draft law to Parliament that permits a state body – the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology or the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority – to review, and censor, such games before being launched into the Egyptian market.

He added that the draft law will include an article stating that there should be censorship, as well as a ban on advertisements broadcasting these kinds of destructive games.

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