April 23, 2018

Experts for collective role to discourage ‘Blue Whale’ type games

News Source: Pakistan Today

Author/s: APP

Originally Published Date: September 13, 2017

 

ISLAMABAD: Educationists and Information Technology experts on Wednesday stressed for parents and society’s collective role to counter ‘Blue Whale’ type threats and protect the youth from any harm.

The lethal game, which has taken lives of some 130 youngsters across the globe since its introduction by a Russian student in 2013, has recently made inroads in Pakistan, creating panic among parents.

Stories about the game have been circulating on social media for the last two months warning the people of its effects on the youth.

According to Dr Aysha Saeed, head of Sociology Department at Quaid-e-Azam Universty, active participation from every segment of the society was required to counter such threats. Parents, however, should be more cautious about their children using internet, she told APP.

She advised the parents to be vigilant and keep an eye on the activities.

Highlighting the role of educational institutions, Dr Ayesha said students must engage in extracurricular activities to improve their mental and physical health.

She said the excessive use of electronic gadgets, especially internet-connected, in earlier age is lethal.

National Institute of Psychology (NIP) Director Prof Anila Kamal said today’s youth was more prone to the such type of threats due to socioeconomic crises.

Financial unrest, unemployment and parents priorities other than their children were major factors which might lead the youth to involve in such activities, she added.

Dr Sheraz, head of Computer Science Department at Federal Urdu University, said the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Cyber Crime Control Wing of Fedral Investigation Agency (FIA) need to react against such threats.

They should take preemptive measures and evolve policies before online games like Blue Whale start taking lives here in Pakistan and install filters so that such unwanted sites or links could not be opened, he stressed.

He, however, added that though sources of such sites could not be determined usually, but the authorities concerned could take steps to mitigate their threat.

A PTA official, when contacted, said no case pertaining to such online game had been reported so far. They were working on policies to tackle such issues, he added.

Written by

Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.

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