There's no rhyme or reason to these things. They show up on different social media platforms, start in different parts of the world, but don’t always take off in regions where they started. There are cultural aspects to what makes them go viral but also universal ones: They "excite children's and teens’ imaginations, increase careless media outlets' appetite and opportunities for bigger audiences, … [Read more...] about About ‘Momo’ & dealing with viral media scares
A reader in India, where a "Blue Whale" scare has now taken off, asked it's a genuine threat, so I'm reposting here the following response I posted in Comments to give you an update (see also a sidebar below about the all-important Russian context): In answer to the question in the headline up there, maybe both. It is also now quite likely a cybersecurity risk to people's devices and data (see … [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." To Dan Reidenberg, … [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