The country has been up in arms for the past couple of days thanks to reports that the online Memo challenge – where some scaryass doll threatens kids into attacking others or self harm via WhatsApp or YouTube – had reached this country, but it turns out that it might actually be a hoax.
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Several charities have come out and accused several newspapers of irresponsibly reporting on the craze, saying that there have been no confirmed cases of children self harming or attacking others. Indeed, NSPCC have said that they’ve received more phone calls about Momo from journalists than worried parents, whereas The Samaritans have said the following:
These stories being highly publicised and starting a panic means vulnerable people get to know about it and that creates a risk.
Currently we’re not aware of any verified evidence in this country or beyond linking Momo to suicide.
What’s more important is parents and people who work with children concentrate on broad online safety guidelines.
These charities are now saying that the fact everyone is talking about Momo is leaving some children ‘white with worry’ where previously there hadn’t even been an issue at all. Unfortunately, the fact that schools and police forces now feel the need to brief parents and children about the threat, often with no idea what they’re actually talking about – for example one Hull primary school posted on their Facebook page saying that the Momo image was ‘hacking into children’s programmes’. What the heck could that possibly even mean?
Anyway, the take home from this is that everyone should probably stop talking about the Momo challenge and perpetuating this fear when it might not actually even be a thing, probably even us. We did publish a story yesterday from a mother in Dover who claimed that Momo had encouraged her children to attack other children, so how are we supposed to know what’s real and what isn’t? Maybe this is exactly what Momo wants?
Either way if you’re actually trying to look out for your children, probably the best way is to monitor what they’re actually viewing on the internet at all times so they’re safe and maybe explain to them how Momo isn’t real and can’t actually do anything to hurt them. Or talk to one of these charities yourself if you’re still worried.
If you want to read this story about the woman in Dover’s experience of Momo then click here. Just not sure whether to believe it anymore.