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Bolognese teens in Blue Whale Challenge Notizie da Bologna e Dintorni
Self-harm ‘game’ responsible for global trend in teenage suicides
Director of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Stefano Costa warned about the alarming trend: “Once the phenomenon has been published, whether it’s real or not is irrelevant as there are usually attempts to emulate it.”
Teens cut design of a whale in their skin.
And at the moment, there are four actual reported cases of Bolognese kids who have attempted to emulate one of the fifty self-harming challenges for teenagers. It’s a game of horror of which the last step involves suicide.
Russian origins:
The name itself may seem innocent but its actual significance lies in the fact that whales often beach themselves deliberately. And of course, the consequences of a beached whale are fatal – hence the challenge in its namesake game: to fulfil certain steps in self-harm. Each step must be followed through with evidence posted online as ‘proof’ of commitment. The last step may involve jumping in front of a train, off a bridge or a building. It all depends on the imagination of its creators.
It first appeared in Russia but at least 16 deaths of young people around the world have been attributed to the game with many more suspected cases. European victims have been identified in Spain, France, Portugal and Britain.
Bolognese victims:
The neuropsychiatric Stefano Costa, who deals with the most serious cases throughout the territory explained that, “In the past fifteen days, four reports have been issued by some youngsters who have tried to emulate this game, or at least some of the challenges they face, for example: how to cut and draw a whale on their skin.” Although two of the teenagers showed some typical attitudes of this phenomenon, there is no real danger to their lives. While in the case of the other two young students the situation would be more problematic. ”
The internet
All four kids came into contact with this horror game directly online through their peers, in particular on social networks like Facebook or Whatsapp. The first to realize something suspicious was when parents noticed strange behaviours and even the whale scratches on their skin. Although, the teens all had previous records with self-harm these latest episodes led their parents to seek help from Maggiore hospital to identify problems they were unaware off.
However, Costa believes that TV and the media may have played a part in spreading this phenomenon. Furthermore, there was an admission by Matteo Viviani, journalist with Iene, that he consciously used fake videos to demonstrate this reality. In these false documentaries shot in Russia you can see some little boys in Russia putting their own lives in danger.
It is therefore unfortunate as Costa pointed out that this publicity has inadvertently led to real victims in what experts refer to the so-called Werther effect: “the tendency to imitate suicide as reported by the media,” and described for the first time by sociologist David Phillips in 1974. “Once the phenomenon has been told, whether it is true or not, the phenomenon has been created (hence a self-fulfilling prophecy)*.
By now, the Blue Whale Challenge has become a macabre fashion that drives several teenagers to emulation, some for pure exhibitionism or to identify themselves with something,” emphasized Stefano Costa.
Founders arrested:
Russian authorities in Moscow have finally arrested two of its founders: Ilya Sidorov, 26 and Philipp Budeikin, 21. One of the accused had earlier boasted about pushing teenagers to suicide by claiming that his victims were “biological waste” and he was “cleansing society.”
* – A copycat suicide is defined as an emulation of another suicide that the person attempting suicide knows about either from local knowledge or due to accounts or depictions of the original suicide on television and in other media.
A spike of emulation suicides after a widely publicized suicide is known as the Werther effect, following Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther.

The post Bolognese teens in Blue Whale Challenge appeared first on Bologna Press .

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