What is the Momo Challenge & everything parents need to know

momo challenge
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As if parents already didn't have enough to worry about, a new internet challenge, the Momo Challenge, is circling the web, and its aim is to scare kids. In this new age, young children spend a lot of time watching content and videos on YouTube and other spaces online, and often it's under little to no parental supervision.  

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There have been many scary findings in the content kids consume on the web, and YouTube even developed YouTube Kids, which is a separate app with content that is age-appropriate and filters out videos not suitable for children. But that didn't stop a recent discovery of alarming suicide how-to tips from being included in kids' videos on the video-sharing platform. Now a new cyberbullying challenge known as the Momo Challenge has also filtered into the messaging service WhatsApp, and from the looks of it, it is a bit terrifying. 

The Momo Challenge has received worldwide attention, and some are deeming it to be "deadly."

The Momo Challenge is spreading through WhatsApp and other social platforms, and photos of a scary alien-like creature with huge eyes and a creepy smile have been circulating in people's phones. Phone users are prompted to contact a user named Momo, who then allegedly sends threats and instructions to perform a series of dangerous and weird tasks that some have said eventually can be deadly, as kids are enticed to self-harm and commit suicide. Authorities are warning parents to be cautious of this "game" that some kids are apparently participating in. There are even reports around the web that say children have died after following the challenge's instructions.

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The Momo was created to be used as a prop in horror films.

Rolling Stone reported that the sculpture was created in 2016 by Keisuke Aisawa of the Link Factory, which is a company in Japan that creates props for horror films. The image of the woman is now being used to scare children and is said to have been edited into other kid-friendly clips of shows like Peppa Pig or Fortnite videos, which helps them go unnoticed by adults. 

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Police departments worldwide urged parents to be more cautious when it comes to letting their kids explore the internet.

The challenge made the news, and parents were warned about the possible dangers.

It's easy to grow weary and frightened whenever we sense that our kids are in danger. It's important to teach our kids about "stranger danger" even when it comes to the internet. They're constantly being exposed to people they don't know, who can share messages and information with them that we don't want our kids knowing about or learning. 

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Another issue is that YouTube stars are now creating content around Momo.

Some YouTube creators are using the trend to create content and get more views on their channels, which only exposes children to the scary images even more and adds to the challenge's popularity. They film themselves contacting the user at 3 a.m. to see what happens. Some of them, though, did attempt to debunk the challenge. The best thing parents can do at this point is put a strict limit on how long kids spend on their electronic devices and make sure an adult is always in the room and aware of what type of media they are consuming. In cases like these, though it might all be a hoax, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Topics: internet security  internet trends  in the news