A terrifying ‘suicide game’ called Momo has arrived in the UK, raising concerns among parents with young children.
The challenge was linked to the death of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina and there is now evidence that kids across the country have been playing the game through the messaging service Whatsapp.
Players are urged to contact an unknown number where a conversation then takes place with ‘Momo’ who then instructs the child to harm themselves or others, otherwise they will be ‘cursed’. Some children are also sent graphic images by the unknown number.
The creepy image of a woman smiling was originally a sculpture by Japanese artist Midori Hayashi and was not intended to be used as part of the game.
A woman from Bolton posted online warning other parents about her child’s experience with the game. The woman’s seven-year-old son had told other kids in his class that ‘Momo was going to go into their room at night and kill them’.
Another woman from Blackpool uncovered messages on her son’s tablet from ‘Momo’, telling him that ‘I can find you everywhere’ and ‘you are still in danger’. It also asks the boy ‘Do you think you can hide from me?’
There also appears to be Youtube videos designed to scare children, which begin as normal before the character ‘Momo’ comes on to the screen. These are often included in videos targeted at children, such as gaming videos.
Many kids have been left unable to sleep after playing the game, which is doing the rounds on social media.
There is, however, a lot of advice on how to make sure your child is safe online.
How to protect your child from the ‘Momo’ challenge
The fresh fears around the game is that it is designed to deceive parents, to make sure that they think their child is watching safe content online before targeting them.
Parenting officer Titiania Jordan shared advice for how to keep kids away from Momo last year.
She recommends maintaining an open dialogue with your children about what they are doing online and the dangers of viral trends.
She also suggests monitoring the things your children can access on the internet. This includes activating parental controls and checking search history.
Where did the ‘Momo’ challenge come from?
The challenge gained attention worldwide after a 12-year-old girl committed suicide after allegedly having a conversation with the character online.
The grotesque character, named Mother Bird, was on display in a gallery in Tokyo and was widely shared on social media.
The original story then became distorted and the Momo game was created.