MOMO Challenge - Internet hoax
We are aware that many of you are becoming concerned due to the current viewing and sharing of a number of fake news stories, social media posts and Youtube videos highlighting a potential hoax safeguarding challenge called ‘MoMo’. These posts may be seen on your social media platforms, but the actual challenge behind them is not real - in fact the posts are designed / worded for people to share them spreading the hoax and heightening the sense of panic; this was the main aim of the individuals behind the sensation and scare stories.
We have seen the following advice from the Education Safeguarding team:
“Regarding to the urban myth, ’Momo’? We have had a number of enquiries recently about it following recent media coverage. It is believed to be a chain-letter type hoax/urban myth, rather than an issue based on factually reported concerns. However, as a result of the recent media coverage, it is possible that content is now being created and shared on popular apps to generate fear and panic.
The following links are quite helpful for further information:
- Net Family News: Dealing with viral media scares
- Huffington Post: 6 Tips For Parents Dealing With Scaremongering 'Suicide Games'
- That’s Nonsense: Is the Momo Challenge real, or an online hoax? Fact Check
Viral scare stories and challenges often contain graphic or distressing imagery which we strongly recommend are not shared with children or parents. Adults (staff and parents) should also be aware that by mentioning specific challenges by name may encourage children to explore something that they were previously unaware, either out of curiosity, or because they want to feel involved in what everyone is talking about”.
We appreciate your concern but seek to reassure you that you or your child(ren) are not actually at risk.
We would ask that you do not raise this issue, or discuss it with or around your child, unless they raise it with you to use this information to reassure them – we do not want to give this hoax any more airtime and hope that it disappears again soon.