The Momo Challenge, which first appeared around the end of February, is a scary model of a half human half bird like creature which pops up in the middle of Peppa Pig videos and tells watchers they will die. You may have seen this on the news and on social media.
Let’s be clear the Momo challenge is a hoax; the modern equivalent of a camp side horror story and appears to have grown out of the WhatsApp hoax called The Blue Whale Challenge from 2017. This was a story about a game where players are encouraged to self-harm, the winner being the person who commits suicide. It was alleged that Russian teenagers were committing suicide playing it, but there was no evidence to prove this.
There is no quicker way to trigger an emotive response than to scare parents into thinking their children are being preyed upon, so the rumours quickly spread over social media. This gains Kudos for the creators.
What should you do? Now you know it is a hoax, please don’t propagate the myth. As with all Cyber advice, talk to your children and grandchildren to make sure they are aware that this type of scare is a myth and there are lots of fake things like this on the internet. There are bound to be a string of copycats now, so kids need to be savvy of all types of threats. They don’t need all the gory details! Children and adults alike are vulnerable to any number of online “dangers” and education is a long process, not a one-off conversation.
As well as talking to your children, make sure you have parental controls enabled and have a good grip on their reins. Put restrictions on age appropriate videos on YouTube and try to keep the viewing vetted and in the same room as a parent for younger children. You can even monitor everything your child does on a PC, so you can check they aren’t talking to strangers, however two-way conversation is the best way to monitor older children. My eldest is constantly educating me in new threats and social media apps that I didn’t know existed!
If you want help to make sure your household computers are safe and secure in and around Sutton Coldfield then please get in touch here.