In the past few years, we have heard about many harrowing games of death targeting vulnerable children online. From 7-years jumping from roofs, cutting their hair, cycling into walls and threatening their siblings and classmates with knives, one such harrowing game known as Momo Challenge has caused kids to bodily harm themselves and others in a variety of ways. These kids were so deeply brainwashed by the game that they could explain their deed by saying things like ‘Momo made me do it, ‘Momo won’t let me say’ and ‘Momo will tell me what to do next’. This harrowing trend and addiction to the game left the parents worried a lot all around the world, especially those with teenage children.
Kids are so intensely affected and brainwashed by the game that they are even afraid of not reaching out to Momo for the next challenge or disobeying the orders given to them by Momo. The child is threatened with a devastating consequence if they fail to comply with the instructions given to them. They are also told that their near and dear ones are going to be harmed if they tell anyone about the conversations made between them. Schools and governmental bodies of several countries have issued warnings about online suicide games like Momo Challenge and advised the parents to keep their children away from this addictive game that provokes the children to do harm to themselves and others and may even prompt them to commit suicide.
What is Momo Challenge?
Utilising the work of a Japanese artist, Midori Hayashi as their avatar, a shadowy controller sends violent images to victims through a messaging app. The avatar is a haunting image of a woman with incongruous features and bulging eyes.
The game invites the users to perform a series of simple tasks to meet ‘Mother Bird’. These challenges are light-hearted and fun at the outset, but they quickly escalate into a set of dark and violent encounters. The players are threatened with violent images and abusive messages if they fail to comply with the rules of the games. The final challenge is to commit suicide in order to meet the ‘Mother Bird’.
What can we do as a parent?
Being a parent, we are the basic source of knowledge and public awareness for our kids. Letting the kids unsupervised and freely use the internet leaves them open to the trouble makers online. Parents and teachers must educate children about the side effects of talking to strangers online. You should encourage them to always trust you and inform you about the people who try to contact them on social sites and messaging apps. Teach them about online safety and the importance of saying no to invitations for playing such games with total strangers. Talk to them freely about the online risks and why they must never click on unknown links and block unknown numbers and friend requests. You can also utilise parental control apps like Kids Place and Safe Browser Parental Control for keeping young kids safe from porn, social media, social networking, nudity, spyware, violence, media streaming, gambling, and other such online security risks. The parental browser can be customised by creating a blacklist and whitelist sites/domains according to what you deem fit for your child to access. The app not only provides you with the much-needed peace of mind but also allow your kids to browse safely. Download it now for the safety of your kids.