You’ve likely seen a number of stories in news and social feeds about the dangers of something named as “The Momo Challenge”. Usually, this accompanies an image of grotesque bird-head with several warnings about the children encouraging themselves to suicide or harms.
CBS reports that the police and schools are warning about the “Momo game” or “challenge” that has resurfaced on YouTube after first gaining traction on the popular WhatsApp application. Last summer, The Momo Game or Momo Challenge gained international recognition and was initially considered as a hoax. In August 2018, law enforcement agencies investigated the influence of Momo game on the death of a 12-year old child in Argentina. According to Rolling Stone, many of these tasks are bizarre and really very dangerous, ranging from watching a horror movie to self-harm and then sending the photographic evidence.
The challenges encourages kids to harm themselves
When children participate in the challenge, they contact a stranger concealing itself as “Momo” using a creepy image and communicate through Facebook-owned app WhatsApp. Momo encourages participants to complete several tasks assigned to them if they want to avoid being “cursed”. Some of such tasks include self-harm which the Momo asks the participant to provide a photographic evidence to participate further for another challenge. Ultimately, the game ends with telling the participant to take their life and record it on the social media.
According to CBS, A huge number of the children across the world are being exposed to the suggestions on how to kill themselves. The Momo Challenge seemed to disappear quickly after making its first presence in headlines in 2016, but the cursed and crepe meme have resurfaced again on WhatsApp and YouTube, targeting the kids. The chilling clips available on several platforms in the U.S. and other countries appear midway through the footage of “Peppa Pig”, “Fortnight” and other similar content for kids.
Google and WhatsApp against the Momo Challenge
WhatsApp has encouraged the users to block any phone number sending the harmful content and to report problematic messages. And, recently YouTube by Google has also banned the harmful and dangerous challenges and also vowed to remove the content quickly.
We advice parents to supervise the games that your kids play and be extremely mindful of the videos they are watching on YouTube. The Police Service Northern Ireland wrote on Facebook “Ensure that the devices they have access to are restricted to age suitable content”.
Police Service Northern Irelands warns the parents
PSNI has also warned that “Momo” and other challenges are created by the hackers who are looking for personal info. Law enforcement agencies have suggested the parents to focus on the bigger picture. The danger lies with your child who is feeling pressured to either follow the orders of ANY app via ‘challenges,’ or peer pressure in chat rooms. This is more important that your child knows not to give out any personal info to anyone over the web whom they don’t know.
A Florida Pediatrician, Free Hess says, “I think it’s an extremely dangerous game for kids”. According to the pediatrician, ”I think our kids are facing a whole new world with social media and internet access. It’s changing the way they are growing, and it’s changing the way they are developing. I think videos like this put them on risk.”
Kids Place to prevent your kids from playing dangerous games
The Momo Challenge is eerily similar to the “Blue Whale Challenge” which gained popularity in 2017 and allegedly led to the deaths of teenagers in U.S. as well as in other countries like Russia, Brazil and a half dozen other countries.
Kids Place is a popular parental control app that allows parents to block the apps and accessing the content that is not appropriate for their kids. There are several access control, password protections and screen time limit options in the application. Download Kids Place now from Google Play Store or App Store and install it in your kids’ phone, and be free of the tension of your kids viewing inappropriate content or playing dangerous games like the Momo Challenge or Blue Whale on their mobile in your absence.