‘Momo Chal­lenge:’ Noth­ing but a hoax

Sun.Star Pampanga - - STORIES! -

The lat­est parental panic on so­cial me­dia over an al­leged on­line chal­lenge for kids to carry out harm­ful tasks lifts up the im­por­tance of es­tab­lish­ing an open di­a­logue with chil­dren and tak­ing ad­van­tage of on­line parental con­trols.

Cau­tions about the “Momo Chal­lenge” flocked on Face­book and other plat­forms in re­cent days, as the na­tion wor­ried about some sup­posed videos that en­cour­age chil­dren to do a se­ries of harm­ful chal­lenges end­ing in sui­cide, with­out telling their par­ents.

Fact-check­ing site Snopes says the chal­lenge first ap­peared in mid-2018 linked to sui­cide re­ports with­out ac­tual ev­i­dences.

The parental warn­ings were ac­com­pa­nied by a re­ally dis­turb­ing im­age of a grin­ning crea­ture with mat­ted hair and bulging eyes. Which I later learned from a friend that it is ac­tu­ally an im­age of the “Mother Bird” sculp­ture from a Ja­panese spe­cial ef­fects com­pany Link Fac­tory.

But what’s im­por­tant now is that we can all loosen a bit more as the chal­lenge was of­fi­cially dis­missed to be a sen­sa­tion­al­ized hoax meant to cause fears among par­ents. (Al­though it’s still un­clear how many videos ex­ist or to what ex­tent they have cir­cu­lated, among chil­dren or else­where)

Nonethe­less, the great thing about this? It has re­minded par­ents and the pub­lic to re­main vig­i­lant about our chil­dren’s on­line ac­tiv­i­ties.

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