A man in Russia has been sentenced to three years in prison for instigating the “Blue Whale Challenge,” a horrifying game that spread through social media and encouraged teenagers to kill themselves. Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray analyzed the report and compared it to other examples of social media and violence on Thursday’s “The Glenn Beck Radio Program.” Do these cases really reflect widespread trends, or are they anomalies that are now simply more visible thanks to the internet?
Filipp Budeykin, 22, was identified as the ringleader of the Blue Whale Challenge, which involved 50 tasks of increasing risk that culminated in the final challenge: suicide. Those who started the challenge by using a particular hashtag or joining “death groups” and then tried to stop would be contacted by a game administrator who would try to manipulate them into continuing, often by threatening to harm their parents.
Saying that he was “cleansing the society” through the game, Budeykin reportedly told investigators that his victims were “biological waste.” Budeykin pled guilty; while he was suspected of trying to incite 15 teenagers to kill themselves, he was ultimately convicted on two counts, Russia Today reported. In both cases, the lives of the teenage girls were saved through intervention: Police stopped a 16-year-old girl in Kazan from committing suicide and doctors saved a 17-year-old in the Tyumen region.
On Thursday’s show, Glenn and Stu compared the bizarre story to the “Slenderman” stabbing and a YouTube couple’s recent deathly encyclopedia stunt, hypothesizing that these tragic incidents are isolated cases rather than the widespread phenomenon often portrayed in the media. One report had claimed that the Blue Whale Challenge had resulted in at least 130 teenagers committing suicide.
“The question is, is this a widespread problem where a lot of people are participating and going through with it,” Stu noted, explaining that a lot of the stories about the Blue Whale Challenge depend on just one source and don’t give many specifics such as names or dates.
To see more from Glenn, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Glenn Beck Radio Program” with Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, Stu Burguiere and Jeffy Fisher weekdays 9 a.m.–noon ET on TheBlaze Radio Network.