There is a lot of hype around at the moment about an Urban Legend called the Momo Challenge. This is a viral game that encourages players to perform a series of challenges in order to meet ‘Mother Bird’ which is a gruesome figure with a disfigured face and bulging eyes, attached to a bird’s body. The scary figure reportedly sends violent graphic images and encourages children to participate in dangerous challenges and has been linked to self-harm.
It is reported that seemingly innocent videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids have been edited to include scary MOMO content and popular Youtubers are also posting ‘reaction videos’ which is creating a lot of hype around this topic. As a result, it is quite likely that your child may come into contact with the image or hear about it from their friends.
There is currently a lot of misleading information circulating around the web and whilst the challenge itself may not be real, the content can be quite distressing for children. Whilst we do not want to sensationalise the challenge further, it is important that children are reassured that ‘Momo’ is not a real person and cannot hurt them. It is also important to also discourage your children from searching for Momo related content as due to YouTube’s ‘suggested videos’ algorithm, they will undoubtedly come into contact with other content which is age inappropriate.
To find out more about this challenge, download this factsheet from National Online Safety