Save teens from Momo Challenge, a deadly WhatsApp game
The online suicide game came into light after a 12-year-old girl from Argentina took her own life in her backyard.
After the horrifying Blue whale challenge that triggered hundreds of teenage suicide across the world, a new deadly game challenge on the internet is gaining much attention and concerns.
A new online game called 'Momo' provokes children to complete a range of dares that finally ends with the suicide challenge. The game that reportedly began in Facebook is now getting viral on the popular messaging application WhatsApp.
The online suicide game came into light after a 12-year-old girl from Argentina took her own life in her backyard. The girl posted videos of herself doing a series of 'challenges' before committing suicide.
What's the Momo challenge?
- Momo is the name of a doll created by Japanese doll artist Midori Hayashi who is featured in the suicide game. However, the artist has no association with the deadly game.
- The game encourages kids to add an unknown contact on WhatsApp by the name 'Momo'.
- Once the contact is added, the image of the terrifying doll with bulging eyes appears in the contact. The game controller then tempts kids to perform a series of challenges and finally encourages them to commit suicide.
- If the instructions are not followed, the players are threatened with violent images, audio or video.
(Image Credit: Twitter)
According to various sources, the deadly game challenge has been reported in the United States, Mexico, Argentina, France, and Germany. The law enforcement agency in Spain 'Guardia Civil' tweeted about the 'momo' challenge and warned people not to add 'momo' in their contact
🔴¡NO agregues a "Momo"!🚫Si grabas en tu agenda 📲 el núm. +8143510*** te aparecerá un extraño rostro de una mujer. Es el último viral de WhatsApp de moda entre los adolescentes. #NoPiques, 🤣 broma o 👿 ataque de ciberdelincuente ❓ Mejor pasa de agregar.#VeranoSeguro 🖥 pic.twitter.com/qVofD2JZpM— Guardia Civil 🇪🇸 (@guardiacivil) July 19, 2018
Another tweet by Cyberdome, a cyber Centre of Excellence for Kerala Police advised people not to fall prey to these dangerous games.
MOMO challenge spreading through the social media, like the BlueWhale Challenge, is learned to persuade children's who are playing it to harm oneself and even tempting them to commit suicide. All are advised not to fall prey to these dangerous games.#momo #cyberdome #childsaftey pic.twitter.com/Yz5uBQ3ROf
— Cyberdome Kerala (@CyberdomeKerala) August 6, 2018
Experts believe that kids with low self-esteem are more susceptible to such deadly games. An early awareness among children and parents could minimize future vulnerability to such deadly internet games.
Parents and teachers should look out for sudden changes in the behavior of children. Monitoring the recent activities of the child in social media and cell phone can help parents to detect if their child has any link with the deadly game.
If something suspicious is found, the child should be immediately taken to a counselor or a psychiatrist.
However, few cybercrime experts are calling the Momo Challenge nothing but a hoax, intended to steal personal information.
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