Let’s start by telling you a story! Some time back, there was a 12-year old girl who lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One day, she walked to her backyard and hanged herself from a tree. The video of this incident was later found on her cell-phone, in which she recorded everything. The Buenos Aires police were quick to identify that this is was not an ordinary suicide. In fact, she did not did something out of her own will, but someone had encouraged her to harm herself as part of this latest dangerous internet challenge known as the Momo Challenge. It sounds similar to the Blue Whale Challenge of 2017, and now the people around the globe including police is again worried for the young generation.
What is the Momo Suicide Challenge?
The Momo Challenge has pages on different social networking portals where the display picture is of a horrifying woman with bulging eyes. This image is not even Pritial as it’s copied from the work of Japanese doll artist Midori Hayashi, though there is no connection between the two.
How does it work?
The people who participate are challenged to contact ‘Momo’. They do it by adding an unknown number to their contacts. Further, they start sending texts to Momo on WhatsApp. And, this is how it begins. The participants receive violent messages and frightening images which ends with urging them to harm and kill themselves. The victims are mostly teenagers, who if don’t obey the rules of the game are severely threatened.
The Buenos Aires police had to hack into the girl’s phone who committed suicide. They found this video recording and WhatsApp chats, where it was believed that wanted to upload the video across the social media platforms. The Momo Challenge will be then declared with the suicide. However, as of now, the authorities don’t have information regarding the motivations behind the fans. It could be two things: either pushing someone to suicide and violence or stealing precious information from children.
What they know is that the Momo Challenge is getting popular in South America (Argentina and Mexico). Also, the incidents have also been reported in the United States, France, and Germany. Spain, on the other hand, has no reports yet. The Guardia Civil has already tweeted a warning against adding Momo to phone books.
Who is behind the Momo Suicide Challenge?
Reportedly, it all started with WhatsApp, and the authorities have to say that the people behind Momo are also using other social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. According to the reports, it is also next to impossible to get down any one Momo WhatsApp account. For instance, in Mexico, Columbia, and Japan, there are three active numbers that are connected to the Momo Challenge. The investigators tried but they could not reach out to these numbers.
While the investigation is pending, the authorities are urging children as well as parents to keep communication channels within the family open. It’s not long ago, that Blue Whale Challenge reported 5 deaths in India, 130 deaths in Russia alone, where the game started initially. This time, it’s better to be careful before the Momo Challenge spreads in our country.
How can you fight this challenge?
Let’s just say, if we help our children believe in themselves and build their confidence, our half trouble will be solved. Don’t talk down, but talk with your kids.