This very unpleasant, online ‘game’ and it’s upsetting nature for any child who stumbles upon it, has been brought to our attention. More information can be found below which may be of use/benefit to parents.
This link might be of help: https://smartsocial.com/momo-challenge-safety-guide/
The Momo Challenge is a creepy character has recently taken over the internet called ‘Momo’, which is the new Slenderman to target children. Momo is a viral challenge which encourages kids to add a contact on WhatsApp. The character will then hound them with violent images and dares, the last one being for the child to take their own lives. It really is terrifying stuff. ‘Momo’ is the name of both the doll-like creature, and the viral challenge she features in, which encourages kids to add a contact on WhatsApp who will then hound them with violent images and dares – the last one being for the child to commit suicide. Momo is certainly a mixture of ‘Blue Whale Challenge & Slenderman, in the way it is a ‘creepy’ character that sets challenges that can end with self harm or suicide.
In effect, the game is not an online game. The online part is that the dares are delivered or made using social media, usually WhatsApp, so that the challenges can come from anywhere in the world as each ‘player’ is encouraged to add someone new to the challenge list and so it goes on, similar to the old ‘chain letter’ game that was played many years ago.
From a Highland point of view, we have added the term ‘Momo’ to the blacklist of phrases that are blocked on Chromebooks so children should not be able to access any info about Momo from their Chromebook device. However, as you will appreciate, it is pretty much impossible to shut these sorts of horrific challenges and games down completely and it is more about the education around what a child should do if they stumble upon this. Fundamentally, as long as they do not continue the challenge by sending it to someone else, it should end with them. However, I fully appreciate that the perceived ‘threat’ may force them into feeling that they may need to continue the mail process.
Should you have any further concerns surrounding this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the school.
Hi Mrs Laird,
We think this MOMO challenge may be a hoax based on this BBC article. Safety online is obviously an important responsibility so even if it is a hoax, hopefully your email has opened people’s eyes to the dangers online and parents will pay attention to what their children are watching.
BBC News – Momo challenge: The anatomy of a hoax https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47393510
Regards James and Reinnette Campbell
Many thanks for making us aware of this. As you and the BBC article state, the important thing is to talk to children about what they are doing online and how to stay safe. We hope to cover this in more detail at our online safety information evening which has been scheduled for the 1st April – information in tomorrow’s newsletter.