Kenyan government, through the Kenya Film and Classification Board (KFCB), has banned the controversial online game, Blue Whale, which has been linked to teen suicides across the world.
The government is lobbying Google, Facebook, Twitter to block it in Kenya, just days after it emerged that a teenager in Nairobi killed himself after playing the online game.
Related: How the Blue Whale games convinces players to kill themselves
KFCB boss Dr Ezekiel Mutua said the government is aware that the game, which originated in Asian countries, has been online for some years.
The game entails a 50-day challenge that involves performing dangerous activities that include watching horrific movies and inflicting harm on oneself.
On the last day of the challenge, the player is asked to kill him/herself in order to be regarded as the ultimate winner. The owners are linked to creators of other games such as ‘A silent House’, ‘A sea of Whale’, ‘Wake me Up at 2.40am’ among other social media versions.
“As a content regulator, KFCB is particularly concerned that the game is now accessible to children and teenagers in Kenya. The Board has ordered for an immediate withdrawal of the game from all social media sites in Kenya and asked all internet service providers to ensure it is not accessible in Kenya,” ordered Mutua in a statement.
READ: 13 ways to protect children from online predators
Last week, a sixteen-year-old committed suicide in Kamkunji, Nairobi under what preliminary Police investigations believe to be the influence of the lethal game. The gaming application has been popular among teens especially in the urban areas where the level of internet connectivity is high.
It is claimed that Blue Whale Challenge is responsible for more than 130 suicides of teenagers in Russia alone.
Parents, relatives or guardians who detect that their children are playing the Blue Whale challenge are advised to report to nearest police station or call KFCB hotline 0711222204.