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YouTube Issues Statement About The Disturbing ‘Momo Challenge’ Amid Fears Of Rumored Resurgence

Amid a recent uptick in conversation about the “Momo Challenge” rumors on social media and its featuring heavily in the news, YouTube made an official statement on Twitter.

YouTube asserts that they have found no recent evidence of “Momo” in any videos—rumors of the challenge were previously prevalent around August of 2018.

The Momo Challenge was rumored to be a game in which kids would add a number to their WhatsApp contacts of someone called the “controller.” The controller would then message the players with instructions and tasks that they would need to carry out.

For the last task, which the completion of would lead to the player meeting the Momo, the controller would message the player asking him or her to harm or kill themselves and post pictures on social media or else information the player didn’t want anyone knowing would get out.

While this challenge may be a hoax, similar challenges or games on social media, such as the choking game, do result in the harm or even the death of the players.

YouTube reminded people that “harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies.”

This statement comes after fears of potential harm to young people by the challenge have been stoked to fury by various recent social media posts.

Several people were surprised to see Momo reappear in the public consciousness:

Rumors about the Momo Challenge are being shared on Facebook and sent out via email by schools.

The sharing of information without fact-checking is leading to a wealth of misinformation online.

Schools and parents are understandably concerned, but may actually be making things worse by sharing these posts without knowing all of the facts.

Children with internet access are likely to go looking for information themselves based on the social media furor over the hoax.

And they don’t necessarily have the ability to separate facts from rumors.

Having a healthy conversation with your kids about their internet use and what to do if they come across something scary is super important.

If they know that they should come to you first, then they are less susceptible to any of these sort of manipulations.

Monitoring your child’s internet use is also essential, know what sites they are visiting and what videos they are watching.

And don’t copy and paste or forward the latest scare tactic you see on social media without some due diligence. Snopes is one of several websites dedicated to separating fact from online fiction.

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Written by Winona Sioux Christnot-Peters

Winona Sioux Christnot-Peters is a writer/web designer and aspiring librarian based in Northern Maine. When not writing or in class, they devote much of their time to multiple non-profit organizations, largely focusing on LGBTQ+ rights and animal welfare. During rare moments of free time Winona enjoys video and tabletop games, as well as various nerdy fiber crafts such as crocheting (mainly amigurumi Pokémon, cat toys, and blankets) and counted cross stitch.