Momo Challenge - Info And Advice For Parents
The Momo challenge is the latest in a series of online challenges that emerge and cause enormous concern. Sometimes the challenges are more myth than reality but that doesn't reduce the worry.
What is the Momo Challenge?
The Momo character — the disfigured face attached to a bird's body — was, in fact, a prop named 'Mother Bird' made in Japan three years ago for an art exhibition. Its sinister stretched features make for a disturbing image that could easily upset or worry a younger child. The Momo challenge is allegedly 'played' over WhatsApp. The Momo character asks would-be participants to contact 'her' and do a series of challenges — the final challenge being suicide. Of course, the evidence for this behaviour happening is limited — there isn't much evidence of a child actually being harmed and what seems to be happening is that the image is spreading because people are using the image in their profiles.
How do children get to know about it?
Children are hearing about the challenge through numerous sources online — the coverage that is happening in the news and on social media is also leading to old fashioned playground curiosity. It's important to remember that the hype around these crazes often leads children to investigate for themselves even if they haven't had direct contact.
Why would children be drawn to it?
There are lots of reasons for children to be drawn towards these challenges even ones that subsequently turn out to be nothing more than urban myth. The drama can be enticing especially when a popular Influencer or gamer is talking about it online.
Is it something to worry about?
Recently, the Momo challenge has been covered extensively in the news and the disfigured avatar has been popping up all over the internet. It's important to know that there isn't much evidence of there being harm to children aside from the upset caused when a child sees a disturbing image or hears about something that sounds frightening.
However, there is no doubt that the Momo phenomenon has reached the UK, so it is something that parents need to be familiar with and ready to talk about with their child.
What should parents do?
Please find attached a guide which raises awareness of the issue and offers advice on helping parents to talk to their children about making safe decisions online.
Posted: Fri, 01 Mar 2019 16:19 by Parish Administrator