Warning Parents: A New Online Challenge is Pushing Children to Self-Destructive Harm and Suicide
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Have you heard of “Momo? If you haven’t yet, prepare to be disturbed.
The Momo Challenge is becoming a global concern, especially in France, Argentina and the U.S. The Momo challenge prompts users to text an unknown number using What’s App, a popular messaging app. After that, the text message shows a doll with pale skin and black hair who reveals a series of dares for the user to complete. If they don’t go through with the dares, whatever is on the other side of the phone number, it threatens that their sensitive personal information will get hacked and leaked to friends and family.
Apparently, “it starts leaving these crazy messages, violent images, and says that it knows secret things about you, personal things about you, and it tells you that in order for it not to share the information, you need to basically commit harm yourself.”
As of now, the texts come from a multitude of numbers, so no one knows exactly where it began. This ambiguity is certainly unsettling. Unfortunately, the popular computer game Minecraft now features a Momo meme of the scary doll that only aids people’s curiosity about the challenge.
Shockingly, this isn’t the first time a dangerous dare-game has sprung up. As reported by Lisa Jones of CBN, technology expert Caleb Kinchlo recalls, “Even back in the nineties there was a challenge, I think it was called, ‘Space Moneys,’ where you basically have someone push against your chest and make you pass out. But now, with social media, it’s becoming viral.”
Momo also mirrors the Blue Whale. “Blue Whale is a horrifying social media phenomenon where youngsters were encouraged to undertake horrific daily tasks including self-destructive activities, watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours. The tasks, issued by manipulative social media users, escalate until the 50th day when youngsters are told to kill themselves,” said Sam Webb. The whole idea of social media challenges becoming deadly was even the plot of the thriller movie NERVE, (review). However, Momo isn’t a movie: it’s real life.
Reportedly a 12-year-old girl in Argentina committed suicide after participating in Momo. Please pray that this stops here.
Please be diligent in making sure your children don’t fall prey to sadistic challenges like Momo and be aware of what they do on their phones. Lives truly are at stake!