Many police authorities around the world have issued a warning to parents, and are advising them to supervise their children’s online activity due a cyberbullying game called the ‘Momo challenge’.
It appears on social media and targets children and/or vulnerable people.
What is it?
Known as the ‘suicide challenge’, Momo is a new viral game that encourages players to perform a series of challenges in order to meet ‘Mother Bird’ – a disfigured and extremely creepy character with bulging eyes and bedraggled dark hair.
Light-hearted and fun at the outset, this game experience quickly darkens, absorbing players who are encouraged to perform acts of violence and self-harm through a series of progressively risky challenges.
Originating in Mexico, it is easily accessed through social media shares (predominantly Facebook and YouTube) and is rapidly spreading across the world.
Why it’s on the iKydz radar?
The challenges in this game present a genuine risk to the safety and welfare of children and young people with the distressing content seen when a player refuses to carry on. It has also been linked to cases of childhood suicide in the UK, Ireland and around the world.
• Players are asked to contact Momo and provide their contact details.
• They will then receive instructions to perform a series of challenges, mostly via Whatsapp.
• Player refusal can trigger severely abusive messaging and their mobile device being hacked.
• The final challenge is to commit suicide in order to meet ‘Mother Bird’.
Why it’s popular?
Sharing and commentary on Social Media platforms has created a level of intrigue and curiosity about this game, which is initially lighthearted and fun.
However, this is a game that targets vulnerable children and young people online, as they are more likely to be drawn to the psychological nature of the challenges.
What to do?
A person doesn’t have to be searching for Momo to be exposed to it and, unlike other games that children enjoy, there is no positive side to this.
Teachers and parents need to reinforce online safety, and in this way encourage children and young people to make the right choice and avoid this game:
• The importance of confidently saying ‘no’ to invitations to play games from strangers
• Knowing why they should not click on unidentified links.
• Knowing how to ‘block’ unknown numbers and friend requests.
Extra peace of mind with iKydz
If you have any iKydz internet control products you can reduce the risk even further with our award-winning internet controls.
- You can set Youtube to restrictive mode to prevent Momo appearing
- Block WhatsApp to prevent Momo’s messages
- Block social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat to stop the exposure of Momo via social media