A 11-year-old Italian boy committed suicide this week. Police are worried that his suicide may be connected to a bizarre recent “game” sweeping social media known as”the “Jonathan Galindo challenge” -the possibility of a revival of the blue whale challenge, news reports that were released on Friday.
The young man jumped from his Naples balcony shortly before one a.m. in the morning on Tuesday, after writing a disturbing note on his tablet. The message said: “I love you mom and dad. Now I must follow the man wearing that black and hoodie. I’m out of time. I am sorry,” news.com.au along with Italian newswire ANSA reported.
The child was said to be content healthy, well-adjusted, healthy and was active, ANSA said.
Cops are investigating what “the man in the black hood” refers the online persona named Jonathan Galindo who asks children to complete a series of gruesome tasks, which culminates in a threat to commit suicide, media outlets have reported.
The character, which is described by the media as an amalgamation of human and a dogand sporting a black round nose, a creepy toothy smile, and long ears, dark hair — was created by special effects creator Samuel Canini back in 2012, news.com.au reported.
The artist says he has no affiliation with the challenge to scare people and claimed the character was designed to satisfy the sake of his “own weird amusement, not for some modern-day thrillseeker looking to scare and bully people,” the account which is believed to be belonging to Canini tweeted in July.
Galindo who isn’t an actual person, targets online children and demands that they complete an ever-increasing set of challenges that range from simple tasks such as “watch a scary film” to more violent ones like suicide and self-harm The outlet reported.
It’s a bit like the blue whale challenge thought to have started in Russia in the year 2016, prior to expanding to other countries like the US. In the “challenge,” kids were given 50 tasks to complete over a period of 50 days, with the ultimate goal being an ultimatum to commit suicide.
In 2017 an Texas family in Texas claimed that the suicide of their son was linked to the blue whale contest when their 15-year-old son was discovered in his closet, with his phone propped with a shoe and broadcasting the death.
A minimum of 130 suicides around the world were connected with the blue whale threat, news.com.au reported.
Another similar challenge came out in 2018 , dubbed the Momo challenge. It was born from reports that showed the image of a scary young lady with black stringy hairand matchstick-like legs, and eyes that are bulging out of their sockets.
The Momo challenge contained explicit images of violence that were sent for children to be warned to be cursed if they did not follow Momo’s instructions and, eventually the demand that they take their own life.
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