Fear is gripping social media users after an online game called the Jonathan Galindo Challenge may have caused the death of an 11-year-old boy by forcing him to commit suicide.
The challenge revolves around a character that has surfaced online who resembles a frightening dog wearing a dark hood named Jonathan Galindo. This terrifying persona orders participants to conduct dangerous acts, including suicide.
Jonathan Galindo Challenge
According to HITC, the new game is similar to a previous one called the Blue Whale Challenge, where teenagers would be given one task per day for 50 days. Each activity would become more and more serious as the days go by, and on the 50th day, the challenger would be ordered to commit suicide.
The Blue Whale Challenge uses social media as its platform and mode of communication. There is usually another individual who is giving the tasks to the person who is taking the challenge.
Experts refer to dangerous online challenges as a new form of cyber-bullying which most people have expressed concern about.
The Jonathan Galindo Challenge is already believed to have caused the death of an 11-year-old boy from Italy who may have joined the game and carried out tasks.
On Tuesday, the victim was found dead in Via Mergellina, Naples, at around 1:00 a.m., said local reports.
Police officers later discovered a horrifying message the boy left on his tablet which stated "I love you mum and dad. Now I have to follow the man in the black hood. I have no more time. Forgive me," as reported by News.com.au.
The dangers of unknown games
Investigators are now looking into whether the victim's death has any connection to the new suicide game going around social media platforms which mostly targets young children.
Authorities believe that the "man in the black hood" the boy refers to is a character known as Jonathan Galindo. The persona challenges boys and girls to conduct a serious of horror-themed challenges in an escalating manner.
The terrifying character that portrays the challenge is a cross between a human and a dog, emphasized with a big, round, black nose and massive human grin with long, black dog ears.
Several accounts on social media with the name Jonathan Galindo who have the horrific character as their profile picture have been adding young children and asking them to play the sick game.
Some individuals have said that the early stages of the game are mostly harmless and includes asking children to wake up in the middle of the night or watch a really scary horror movie.
However, as more tasks are completed, the game takes on a sinister role as it starts to order its victims dangerous activities such as self-harm or stand on a building's edge. The final task is believed to ask players to take their own life.
The mask was taken from the one that was created in 2012 by Samuel Canini, a cinematographic special effects producer. However, the pictures have been taken over by other parties who went on to create the Jonathan Galindo persona.
Canini has denied any connection with the disturbing way that the mask he created is now being used on social media. He wrote on Twitter that he created the mask for his own amusement in 2012-2013 and never intended for it to be used in a dangerous and terrorizing game.