Not being aware of Momo Challenge is like not living in the trend right now- although this is not what we normally expect for something that would be viral, we cannot deny that almost every individual who owns a social media account do want to know what’s really going on about this thing and why everyone else seems to be talking about it.
Well, to prevent you from resourcing your knowledge about this issue from not-so-reliable references here is a compilation of the facts that you must-know regarding this issue:
I. The ‘Basics’ Regarding the Momo Challenge
We all are used to with expecting that ‘same thing’ which never failed to occur whenever there is something viral making noise over the digital world- everyone else seems to be suddenly “expert” about the issue. The exact same condition is what surrounds this alleged ‘challenge’. Claims are all over the place and you would hear different angles of the stories that could either be coming from unverified resources or is a plain add-up of that person you’re talking with.
So, what are these claims, then? (That you should be critical upon)
The Momo Challenge:
They say Momo Challenge, which originated from a profile in a particular messaging app is providing its ‘victims’ different life-threatening challenges- starting from getting themselves involved with violent acts up to encouraging them to commit suicide. Overall, integration of that particular messaging app (WhatsApp), Facebook, and YouTube are used as tools for the perpetuation of this violence-inducing act.
The used image of this perpetrator is a woman with distorted facial features- as terrifying as you could imagine, let alone the kind which will most probably haunt you at night… and sharing the news (if you can call it that one) about this issue is what has served as the start of how Momo Challenge has suddenly become a hot talk worldwide.
In fact, a single search on whatever platform on the internet would easily lead you to an already complex-branched combination of assumptions, made up stories, and ‘claims’ that are most probably not verified at the first place.
Target Victims of Momo Challenge:
Allegedly, the target victims of this Momo Challenge are children- one of the seen factors why this thing went viral as insanely quick as it had been. In fact, there are arising claims saying that a video has even appeared on one of the most popular cartoons show for kids, with the material included within the video- a Florida-based mom has been reported to have seen a self-harm video clip given as an “advice” by a man- highly like the Momo Challenge as rumored.
Other Platforms Used by the Momo Challenge:
Roblox and Fortnite, which are once safe online gaming platform for kids are also being used as a means of spreading this ‘Momo Challenge’- used as a way of distributing violence and self-harm implicating videos.
Alleged Death Cases Linked to Momo Challenge:
Deaths of the following have been said to relate to the challenge:
In the Philippines: 11-year old kid boy
In Argentina: A 12-year old girl (As reported by the Buenos Aires Times; National Police of Spain has given public safety warning versus a messaging account which spreads “absurd challenges”)
In Belgium: A 13-year old boy
In India: An 18-year old teen (Died with the writing of “Illuminati” and the “Devil’s one eye” on the wall as confined inside a livestock)
In Colombia: 16-year old and 12-year old boy and girl respectively (Death was linked to “playing a sick game”)
The Triggering Point of Momo Challenge:
As said earlier, further threatening messages are given to those who failed to do the challenges as given by the said profile- “a curse will be handed down” against the kids who either refuse or simply failed to do the many forms of violent acts as intended.
This challenge is like the Blue Whale Challenge which has last made noise four years ago, in 2015 as of records.
II. Is Momo Challenge Real or Hoax?
Several authorities have already denied the reality of this “challenge”- but hey, we don’t think that’s not the point anymore.
The fear has already been spread, and it is not impossible for this challenge to be “real” because let’s deal with it, we’ll never know how ‘vain’ some people could possibly become that perpetuating this kind of violence through form of crazy challenges is not a thing we could expect not to arise anymore.
Whether it’s a hoax or not, we must do something.
III. What Parents Must Do Vs. The Momo Challenge
Monitor Your Kids’ Online Activities and Behavior
No, I’m not talking about doing it like you’re an FBI agent in your past life- your kids won’t surely like that and may even result to the opposite of what your intention is.
The point is, just be there for them- let them know they have someone they can lean on and even talk with whenever needed. Build just the safe and comfortable space for your kids regarding their openness to their online activities just as how you wanted their online spaces to actually look like.
Also, alongside with acknowledging their issues, be actively involved not only in what you kids are telling you verbally but as well as, be watchful with their behaviors, especially regarding any change about it.
The online world can be both a heaven and hell at the same time- that is why it is your responsibility as a parent to educate your children how can this digital space be maximized for their benefits and at the same time, instruct them on the red light signals- the things that they should avoid at all costs… such as this violent-inducing challenge we are talking about.
Set Clear Rules
Be assertive with the fact that despite the freedom you’re giving to your kids, you’re the parent and you’re in charge of the rules they should adhere with.
Provide your kids not only with the knowledge, but as well as, and most importantly- with just the right mix of the commands of both respect and authority.
Momo Challenge is just one of the many issues that the online world of our beloved children are daily facing with, be alert and responsible- they are just kids, barely holding on to what the people around them are telling to; in the harsh side of the digital world, be the kind of influence that they need.
Waterson, J. (2019). Viral ‘Momo challenge’ is a malicious hoax, say charities. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/28/viral-momo-challenge-is-a-malicious-hoax-say-charities [Accessed 2 Mar. 2019].
Rkaina, S. (2019). Crucial tips for keeping kids safe as sick Momo challenge puts children at risk. [online] mirror. Available at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/momo-challenge-safety-tips-parents-14059146 [Accessed 2 Mar. 2019].
Reporter, S. (2019). What is the Momo challenge, is there a UK number and how many deaths has it been linked to?. [online] The Sun. Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6926762/what-momo-suicide-game-whatsapp-deaths-uk-parents-number/ [Accessed 2 Mar. 2019].