Egypt telecoms regulator says ban on ‘Blue Whale’ suicide game currently impossible

(Blue Whale game internet photo)
Updated 05 May 2018
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Egypt telecoms regulator says ban on ‘Blue Whale’ suicide game currently impossible

  • The game, created in Russia in 2013, has been linked to several suicide reports in European and Arab countries
  • Complete ban 'impossible' an official at the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority says

CAIRO: A complete ban on “Blue Whale,” an online game linked to several suicides worldwide, is technically not possible, Egypt’s telecom regulatory has said.
An official at the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority told Al-Ahram newspaper that a ban on the game would be difficult during a meeting at the parliament with the IT committee.
The meeting was intended to discuss requests to ban games of this type.
“A complete ban on suicidal games such as Blue Whale is almost impossible, especially as their makers and senders may send them to users via social networking sites,” explained Hossam Abdel Mawla, a representative at the telecom regulatory.
“The major problem is that these applications are being sent via social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter,” Abdel Mawla said at the meeting.
Abdel Mawla’s appearance before the parliament came after requests by the country’s prosecutor general to ban games like Blue Whale, which is said to have claimed the lives of several youth by leading them to kill themselves.
The telecom regulatory is reportedly looking into ways to ban games of this type.
“There is no country in the world that has found a way to ban such games, and I would be deceiving you if I said we would succeed in Egypt to ban such suicidal websites or applications; yet I promise that we will provide the best that other countries have reached in dealing with similar applications,” Abdel Mawla added.
The game, created in Russia in 2013, has been linked to several suicide reports in European and Arab countries.


Facebook removes accounts from Russia, Iran for ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’

Updated 59 min 59 sec ago
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Facebook removes accounts from Russia, Iran for ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior’

  • Facebook said 513 of those accounts were tied to Iran
  • The accounts tied to Russia were largely removed for spam
BENGALURU: Facebook said on Tuesday it has removed more accounts from Iran, Russia, Macedonia and Kosovo, citing what it described as “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
A total of 2,632 pages, groups, and accounts were removed from Facebook and Instagram for operations linked to the above-mentioned countries, the social media platform said.
513 of those accounts were tied to Iran, while 1,907 were linked to Russia, Facebook said.
The accounts tied to Russia were largely removed for spam with a small portion of those engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior, according to the statement.
Facebook also said the pages and accounts were removed for their behavior and not content.
The social media platform has recently been cracking down on such accounts in many countries after coming under fire in the last two years for its self-admitted sluggishness in developing tools to combat extremist content and propaganda operations.
The company had also removed certain accounts tied to Iran earlier in January.