What is Momo Challenge? | New Viral Suicide Game on WhatsApp

What is Momo Challenge? | New Viral Suicide Game on WhatsApp

What is Momo Challenge? Just like the Blue Whale Challenge that made headlines in 2016, this Momo Challenge has taken over the internet in past few days. This game is basically believed to be a suicide inducing game just like the Blue Whale Challenge.

What is Momo Challenge?

Momo is a social media account on WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube. It is using the image of a horror artwork called Mother Bird by Link Factory to induce curiosity among children, challenging them to communicate with an unknown number. This creepy account is said to be connected to three numbers in Japan, Mexico, and Colombia.

Initially, the kids are encouraged to send a message to a number on WhatsApp. Due to a combination of curiosity and peer pressure, kids send a message, then receive a message from “Momo” in return. Along with the horrifying wide-mouthed, bug-eyed picture of Momo, they also start to get violent images and a series of increasingly dangerous dares from the anonymous bully. Children are told that they if they do not perform these tasks, they will be cursed or visited by Momo herself.

Momo Challenge on WhatsApp | Trynal
Momo Challenge on WhatsApp | Trynal

What actually is Momo?

Like many internet phenomenon, Momo was born on Reddit – specifically, on the ‘creepy’ sub-reddit. A reddit user posted the above image – a woman with enormous eyes and a giant, beak-like mouth – on the website. It was shared by another, and another, until the photo eventually went viral. The image was originally created by the Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who has nothing to do with its terrifying reputation. Momo is a nickname given to a sculpture of a young woman with long black hair, large bulging eyes, a wide smile and bird legs.

What is Momo Challenge?
Momo Challenge on WhatsApp | Trynal

Is it difficult to find it out?

It is now on WhatsApp, a tool that offers free messaging and phone calls for people all over the world. While this technology offers a wonderful way for family and friends to stay connected to one another, even when they are on different sides of the world, it can also pose a major threat when it comes to children’s safety on the web. This is because WhatsApp is encrypted and can be used anonymously — meaning that parents and police will have a difficult time keeping track of messages sent from WhatsApp account and monitoring any potential criminal behavior.

Where did it start?

Well, the origin of the game is yet to be discovered. United States, France, Germany, Argentina and Mexico are some of the countries where cases related to the Momo challenge have been reported. However, the intent of the game is yet to be identified. Cyber experts have taken apprehension of the game.

Any Deaths reported?

In a latest instance, death of a 12-year old girl in Argentina is reportedly being linked to the challenge. Police in Argentina is on a look out for the “adolescent with whom she exchanged those messages”. But, as mentioned above, the encryption offered by WhatsApp is playing its part here.

Advice to Parents?

I’d suggest to keep a watch on your youngster’s social media activities and save them from falling prey to this game. Individuals need to be vigilant and careful about what they share on their social media accounts.

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