We have all heard about trends that make the rounds on the internet and social media. Many are harmless but then there are some dangerous ones that mostly affect young adults and children. Another dangerous challenge has surfaced called the “Momo suicide challenge”. Here is what parents need to know about the dangerous Momo challenge.
Sometime last year the Blue Whale suicide challenge surfaced and unfortunately led to some deaths.
What is the Momo Challenge
The Momo challenge is a suicide challenge! Sickeningly! It happens mostly via whatsApp.
The Momo Challenge happens mostly on facebook or whatsApp directed mostly at children and young adults. The “challenge” involves a frightening avatar contacting the child from an unknown phone number or name. The child is then asked to perform various actions and tasks, and provide photos as proof. The “Momo” then threatens those who do not perform the tasks. The tasks escalate to serious violent acts including suicide.
In some cases victims are ‘doxed’ into self-harm and suicide,” reports 9News Australia. Doxing “is when someone hacks your private information and then threatens to share it online or in a public forum, akin to blackmail”.
The game started in Mexico, with players “challenged” to communicate on WhatsApp with an unknown person known as Momo, according to the Computer Crime Investigation Unit of the State of Tabasco, Mexico.
To date the game has been shared in Argentina, United States, France, Germany and India. It has prompted several police forces to issue warnings to children and their parents about the challenges.
What Parents Should Know
A growing number of young people from around the world have taken their own lives as part of the Momo Challenge. This whatsApp “suicide challenge” game is causing mounting panic among parents.
In a recent report, school officials from Brick Township in the US recently urged parents to monitor their children’s social media after parents raised concerns after first-graders were discussing the “Momo Challenge.” In the letter to the parents, parents were being warned that the Momo Challenge “is just one example of dangerous ‘games’ through social media that has a negative impact on students and their social interactions.”
Parents today did not grow up in the era of digital media and technology that children currently have access to. However both parents and educators keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the internet; the various social media apps, games and trends.
Parents need to play a more active role in monitoring their child’s online activities. Talk to them about making the right decision online and noticing changes in behaviors that might be cause for concern. [Read: Suicide is Never an Option – Don’t miss the signs]