Momo features in Baby Shark and demands kids cut themselves or parents. If children do not do what they are told the character will come after them.
The new footage is a play on the Momo Hoax that was on our screens just a few weeks ago. Police have already issued warnings.
Momo continues to be a hoax but it is feared that some scared children may self-harm after watching the videos for fear that Momo could come after them.
Police Hour was one of the first media outlets to stand up and say Momo is a hoax. We called it just another fake news story.
The theme of the content remains the same Fake News, but there is an added risk that children could see this new video that platforms are working quickly to remove and self-harm.
Apparently within the video Momo appears and demands that kids cut themselves or parents.
Momo now appears in the video and says “Hi, I am Momo. I want to play with you.
“Look for a knife in your kitchen and cut your little hands.
“If you do not do it, Momo will come after you.”
National Online Safety issued a statement “There have been recent reports that some seemingly innocent videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids (such as ‘surprise eggs’, unboxing videos and Minecraft videos) have been edited by unknown sources to include violence provoking and/or other inappropriate content.
“Even though YouTube monitor and remove videos that include inappropriate content, clips can be uploaded and viewed thousands of times before they get reported and removed.
“As a parent, it’s difficult to spot these videos as the harmful content doesn’t appear until partway through the video.”
So who is Momo?
Momo began in February as far as Police Hour is aware when a momo story went viral on social media, this was a fake news article, this brought about hundreds of thousands of shares and then news outlets began reporting on momo, Some schools have even gone to the lengths of holding hour-long assemblies to warn of the dangers of momo, but really this justs feeds into the fake news and misinformation spreading.
Momo apparently contacted children by WhatsApp account which claimed to be momo, and the image of momo would appear on the phone at random.
Children are then promoted to save momo as a telephone contact and then receive a call from momo and they are asked to carry out some tasks but they are not allowed to tell other members of the family.
But in truth momo has only appeared in edited versions of YouTube videos such as Peper Pig, therefore when parents asked the children if they had seen momo they answered yes because they had in fact seen an image within the cartoon causing parents to fear momo had contacted their children.
Back with the news that momo was now linked to 130 deaths in Russa which caused fear and playground chatter amongst parents, calls to schools and even the police when their child had done something naughty, blaming momo.
Momo is a photo of a sculpture by Japanese special-effects company Link Factory.
What Snopes say
Fact-checking website Snopes also suggests that the story is more hype or hoax but the reality is the images could cause distress and fear to children. the story was “far more hype or hoax than reality”, but warned the images could still cause distress to children.
“The subject has generated rumours that in themselves can be cause for concern among children,” wrote David Mikkelson on the site.
The police have never received any reports of any children harming themselves which is connected to the momo challenge.
There is no evidence to suggest 130 people died within Russa who took part in the momo challenge either.
What parents should do when Momo comes up
1. Tell them it’s not real
Just like any urban legend or horror story, the concept can be quite frightening and distressing for young people.Whilst this may seem obvious, it’s important for you to reiterate to your child that Momo is not a real person and cannot directly harm them.
Also, tell your child to not go openly searching for this content online as it may only cause more distress.
2. Be present
It’s important for you, as a parent or carer, to be present while your children are online.
This will give you a greater understanding of what they are doing on their devices, as well as providing you with the opportunity to discuss, support and stop certain activities that your child may be involved in.
As the nature of each task become progressively worse it’s also important to recognise any changes in your child’s behaviour.
As well as monitoring your child’s activity, it’s important for you to discuss it with them too.
Not only will this give you an understanding of their online actions, but those honest and frequent conversations will encourage your child to feel confident to discuss issues and concerns they may have related to the online world.
4.Device settings and parental controls
Ensure that you set up parental controls for your devices at home.
This will help to restrict the types of content that your child can view, as well as help you to monitor theiraddition to this, it’s vital that you are aware of your device and account settings to ensure your child’s utmost safety.
For example, on YouTube you can turn off ‘suggested auto-play’ on videos to stop your child from viewing content that they have not directly selected.
Trends and viral challenges can be tempting for children to take part in; no matter how dangerous or scary they seem.
Make sure you talk to your child about how they shouldn’t succumb to peer pressure and do anything they are not comfortable with, online or offline.
If they are unsure, encourage them to talk to you or another trusted adult.
6.Real or hoax
As a parent, it is natural to feel worried about certain things you see online that may be harmful to your child. However, not everything you see online is true.
Check the validity of the source and be mindful of what you share as it may only cause more worry.
7.Report and block
You can’t always rely on parental controls to block distressing or harmful material.
People find ways around a platform’s algorithm in order to share and promote this type of material.
Due to this, we advise that you flag and report any material you deem to be inappropriate or harmful as soon as you come acrossshould also block the account/content to prevent your child from viewing it.