Here we are again. Remember “Blue Whale,” then “Momo”? Well, the B.W. challenge, or self-harm “game,” has been warmed over and repackaged with a new name and face with the creepiness of a Momo. This time it’s a weird, scary version of the cartoon character Goofy. [I don’t know—does familiarity make it less scary or more so?] In any case, its predecessors were both hoaxes, so it would be hard for … [Read more...] about Yup. New ‘Blue Whale’ with a Momo-style twist
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A reader in India, where a "Blue Whale" scare has now taken off, asked if it's a genuine threat, so here's an update (see also sidebars below about the all-important Russian context and lessons from India, because there's are cultural as well as universal pieces to this global puzzle): In answer to the question in the headline up there: maybe both. Blue Whale is also now quite likely a … [Read more...] about ‘Blue Whale’: Clickbait or a new form of online grooming?
The term "fake news" has largely (and rightfully) been discredited because, at best, it's simplistic and, at worst, used to dismiss or discredit legitimate news providers. But there is such a thing as real fake news: misinformation and disinformation that goes viral in this digital age and then leads to real tragedy. So the "Blue Whale" story is no longer about "fake news," and we're now at the … [Read more...] about When ‘fake news’ becomes real: What next with ‘Blue Whale’?
June 11, 2017, adding an update in the form of author, journalist and game designer Andrea Angiolino's response to sensationalist tabloid "coverage" in Italy of a new arrest in Russia – see the first sidebar below. My first post on the "Blue Whale challenge" was published March 13 here. Much has happened since then in a number of countries, so an update is in order, but I hope you agree that the … [Read more...] about Core concern: ‘Blue Whale’ & the social norms research
[Thank you to all commenters on this post! I've just posted an update (5/17/17) that I hope you'll read before commenting further here.] It has been reported as real news here in the U.S. in recent weeks, just as it was earlier in eastern Europe, and what a dark, disrespectful message it sends about young people in any country. I'm talking about coverage of the so-called "Blue Whale suicide … [Read more...] about ‘Blue Whale’ game: ‘Fake news’ about teens spread internationally