Kenya bans Blue Whale Challenge after teen kills self

Tuesday May 9 2017

STELLA CHERONO
By STELLA CHERONO
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The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has banned the online game "Blue Whale Challenge", which has been linked to a teen’s suicide in Nairobi.

The KFCB on Tuesday said it had written to Google and Facebook to block the game, which features a fifty-day series of traumatising tasks that culminate in suicide.

WITHDRAWAL

KFCB chief executive Ezekiel Mutua said the board had ordered the immediate withdrawal of the game, which has been online for some years, from all social media sites in Kenya and asked all Internet service providers to ensure it is not accessible in the country.

“Anyone found allowing children to play the Challenge will be arrested and prosecuted in line with the Film and Stage Plays Act Cap222,” Mr Mutua said.

Under this Act, he said, it is illegal to expose children to any content that is suitable for adults only.

“In this regard, the board is already working closely with the law enforcement agencies to ensure the game is not available in any public facility, including cyber cafes and gaming joints across the country,” said the CEO.

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He said the board had written to Facebook, Twitter and all other social media platforms where the presence of the game has been reported and called on the networks to remove its ads.

“Further, the Board has advised the Communications Authority of Kenya, CAK, to take action against any social media sites operators allowing the distribution of such dangerous games,” he said.

The ban comes after it emerged that a teenager who committed suicide in Nyamakima late last week had played the game.