My initial blog on the blue-whale pandemic which captured the trail upto 1 week after the local media-outbreak in Kerala, was posted a week back. I had observed at that time that the media-interest in it had waned, however that was not to be! As the real oceanic cousins of the digital-whale are wont to surprise, it was but a dive, disappear and resurface!
What followed was another bout of hysterical paroxysm for the media – this time rendered more jarring by the breaking-news visual media and its expert-ized prime-time discussions. So much happened over the few days that I thought it did be better to have a part2 to document the artifacts. These artifacts span the visual/ print/virtual/ digital/ social media expressions like trolls, messages, poems, narrative anecdotes, …..
This time again it was the malayalamanorama group (manoaramanews channel) which ignited the proceedings like its print-arm had done it earlier. It was breaking news : ” killer games gets its first prey in Kerala” , “16 year old die after playing blue whale, says mother”, “proof that the boy had completed the blue whale tasks”
This sets off the cascade, artifacts from which are collated below:
media discussions in which psychiatrists, cyber experts etc participated
trolls and images in social media
facebook-page post by a collective of doctors who are “myth busters”
twitter (There is a more dangerous game than #BlueWhaleGame in India. It is called farming. Participants commit suicide in the end. Families too.)
Youtube search history with “kerala blue whale” threw up ~800 videos uploaded in last one month.
newspaper follow through:
Gov of India request to google and Facebook
Kerala child rights commission initiates a case
news reports on updates by police
Thus the Blue whale true to its folkloric nature stimulates a lot of cultural expressions too, over and above the hysteria in the news media and the media-men.
August 20: news reports
2. An admin of a meme generatiing website comments on how they felt spreading “awareness” in early stages can be counterproductive and hence kept away from it as part of being socially responsible.
“We try to create socially responsible memes as part of our collaboration with the Cyberdome.For instance, even before the news of the Bluewhale game spread, the officers were interested in spreading awareness. However, we advised them against it as people have a tendency to experiment with things which we urge them not to try out,” said Hrishikesh Bhaskaran, an ICU admin, adding that they made sure that no such memes were posted.