The Momo Challenge: What You Need To Know

momo challenge-feature-image

The Momo Challenge: What You Need To Know

Viral trends are a staple in this digital age. The Momo Challenge is one of the many to make global waves across social media. But, it’s a little more different than your run of the mill online trend. This one has received an unbelievable amount of attention. Ever since the challenge first surfaced mid-2018.

Keep reading to know what you need to know about the disturbing Momo Challenge.

What is it actually?

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The terrifying artwork circulated as “Momo” (Image via independent.co.uk)

It’s the internet’s latest boogeyman. The Momo Challenge is all the talk now. Not sure what it is? It’s supposedly an online “suicide game”. Which, claims origins from Japan.

First, a mysterious being named “Momo” sends you a message on Facebook or Whatsapp. Then, it proceeds to coax you into doing dangerous dares. Of which you’re supposed to film. Often times it includes self-harm. The dares continue and get more dangerous. Eventually, it escalates to suicide.

Apparently refusing leads to Momo sending you disturbing and gory media. To add, threats of Momo visiting and cursing you. You can see how easy it is for children to be pressured into doing such acts. Given how terrifying this “Momo” looks.

It has undoubtedly left a bad mark. Numbers of parents, enforcement agencies, and educators worry. And, have warned of the Momo Challenge.

The Momo Challenge is Actually Just a Sham

FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS!

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Gif via giphy.com

It turned out to be a scaremongering hoax spread by sick individuals on the internet. Malicious individuals who pose to be “Momo” and terrorize vulnerable youth. This hoax was designed to target children, parents and concerned individuals.

The horrifying “Momo”? It’s actually just a figure of art created by Japanese special effects artist Keisuke Aiso. The figure, or what people identify “Momo” to be, is stolen from Aiso’s 2016 work “Mother Bird”.

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Keisuke Aiso, the artist behind the terrifying artwork with a “Momo” mask brought by a friend as a souvenir from Mexico (Image via japantimes.com)

In efforts to help contain the mess, Keisuke Aiso has stepped up. To, assure everyone that the terrifying figure is in fact, his artwork and no real thing. He added that Momo is nowhere near real. And, that there is no such thing as the curse of the Momo Challenge.

How Did it Even Get so Big?

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The terrifying avatar of “Momo” (Image via vox.com)

Many – experts included – now call it the most fascinating internet hoax circulated in a while. Why? SImply because it spread so rapidly, despite little evidence of harm related to the challenge.

How did this Momo Challenge mess get so big? One, because law enforcement and government agencies were releasing warnings against it. Two, because new agencies reported it – adding fuel to fire. Three, because it was spread by word of mouth. Meaning, little to no basis to back.

What do social media behavior psychologists argue? One of the main reasons this blew up was due to the ambiguity surrounding the Momo Challenge. Things always seem scarier when you aren’t sure what it is. Warnings came in the numbers, all without evidence of harm caused.

So, what did we get? Momo Challenge wildfire.

How Many People Have Actually Been Harmed by The Momo Challenge?

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A warning actually posted by a school district in the US (Image via foxnews.com)

With research, we came to conclude that not much evidence of the Momo Challenge’s toll exists. Reports of related deaths exist, but many connections failed to be proven. Most claims were far fetched and lacked evidence.

There is actually more on the net about how the Momo Challenge is such a big hoax. Rest assured, this challenge went viral. But, suffered far fewer victims than the infamous Blue Whale challenge that plagued Russia.

However, many have been terrorized by sick individuals posing as “Momo” online. Many parents reported their children receiving texts and threats to do harmful acts from “Momo”.

What’s the Takeaway? How To Prevent the Next Momo Challenge?

Don’t let yourself fall victim to believing fake news or trends. The internet is a vast playground for media. Spreading anything with no basis brings harm.

Preventing the next “Momo Challenge”-like trend is easier to than you think. And, it’s virality is completely in your hands.

Parents, don’t go gung-ho on restricting your children’s web access. Instead, encourage them to be open about their online endeavors. Taking extremes cause more harm than good. And, lead to your child becoming more secretive. Be supportive, and shy away from prying. Also, know the signs.

Raise awareness! Warn your followers on the dangers of spreading fake news. Become a conscious media consumer. Never jump the gun to believe whatever you read online. Live by fact checking!

Do your part and keep the internet safe. Rumors bring harm.

Kuscera Youngblood About the author