Many parents and students may have seen information or warnings about the 'MoMo Challenge' in the last few days. The Momo Challenge involves participants receiving social media invitations on platforms like WhatsApp and Snapchat to message an account called Momo. The account is linked to an image of a doll with long black hair, large eyes and a scary-looking smile.
The account may send disturbing images and instructions for different tasks that need to be complete along with threats about what will happen if the tasks are not carried out.
Darren Laur, an internet and social media safety advocate, the White Hatter, has said there were many reports that children were harming themselves and even dying as a result of the challenge, but that isn’t the case.
“It’s a hoax that is propagating and now, as a result of that, too many parents are believing it’s killing kids around the world when in fact that isn’t happening,” Laur said.
However, Laur said the images and messages associated with the challenge that can pop up in videos online and on social media can be frightening for children.
“What isn’t a hoax is how graphic it is,” Laur said. “If a young person sees it, it can be very, very scary.”
There have been students discussing the MoMo Challenge at NWSD schools this week. Please note that the staff will address any specific conversations regarding this. The NWSD internal web filters will also prevent any student from accessing this content.
Here are some helpful suggestions to assist your child if they have been exposed to it:
- Ensure children understand the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know.
- Tell their children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do.
- Use parental controls to keep children safe.
Consider following The White Hatter on Facebook - they share lots of good internet safety information for parents and students.
Please note that we have many support services available in our communities.