01 Mar What Parents Really Need To Know About ‘”Momo Challenge”
Are you a parent of a young kid? Have you not heard about the Momo challenge yet?
Sceptics say it’s a hoax, however parents are sharing viral clips on
Twitter with concrete evidence on what the sinister looking creature called “Momo” is asking kids to do,
i.e. how to kill themselves.
So, what is is the Momo Challenge all about?
Momo is a creepy-looking skinny character with long hair and protruded eyes that reach out to children via social media platforms and apps like YouTube Kids. Once she appears on screen, she convinces the kids and encourages them to do harmful stuff, even self-harm. She is also seen singing, “Momo. Momo. Momo is going to kill you”. It can be psychologically detrimental for the innocent minds of the kids.
The game first asks the kids to browse the internet for some special phone number, and then send messages to that particular number. Once the messages are sent, he or she will start getting messages along with a picture of the horrible-looking Momo. The figure also pops up from behind when some normal video is playing.
The worst part is – the messages instigate kids to do nasty tasks like “ how to run a knife across your neck”, “how to stab people”, “how to turn the gas on” and even provoke them to take sleeping pills to guide them into committing suicide. You never know, your kid might get indulged into this brutal gaming stuff.
The frighteningly dangerous part is the Momo Challenge message appears after the end of seemingly innocent looking colourful and cheerful videos. These videos are spreading like wildfire on popular kids websites and apps like YouTube kids – consumed by millions of toddlers and teenagers.
And there’s 100% chance of your kid stumbling upon the Momo challenge while naively watching fun-looking cartoon videos. So far, Momo Challenge has claimed the lives of many teenagers from all over the world.
If you don’t see to this with immediate action, next time it could be your kid to fall prey to this life-threatening game. Even the Police are also issuing warning addressing the parents to monitor what their kids do on the internet before it’s too late and nothing can be done.
Is this form of cyberbullying real?
Well, not really. The Momo game broke the internet and other platforms in the year 2018 when a teenager girl from Argentina committed suicide because of a game she has been into for quite some time. Not only this, there are many reports from other countries too including Columbia, Philippines and India of children committing suicide because of the challenge.
What are the responsibilities of the tech-giants?
Social media platforms for kids including YouTube Kids and others should be responsible enough to filter content before making them live. This is especially important when the audience comprises young children between the age of 2 to 6 years. Being so irresponsible with filtering and featuring such deadly contents for kids is not forgivable, at all!
What you can do to protect your kid from the Momo Challenge?
You, as a parent in this high-tech world, need to :
- keep your eyes on what and where they are consuming content online
- look for KidSafe Seal certified apps for kids as they are vetted thoroughly for in-app content
- read reviews of apps and sites by other parents for red flags
- check for signs if your kids react overtly to being asked about the “Momo” challenge.
We encourage every parent should make sure have an open dialogue with their children about things they do, online and offline. Start now before it’s too late.
Here’s one glimpse on how it’s haunting kids: