Viral ‘Momo challenge’ is a malicious hoax, say charities

Groups say no evidence yet of self-harm from craze, but resulting hysteria poses a risk It is the most talked about viral scare story of the year so far, blamed for child suicides and violent attacks but experts and charities have warned that the Momo challenge is nothing but a moral panic spread by adults. Warnings about the supposed Momo challenge suggest that children are being encouraged to kill themselves or commit violent acts after receiving messages on messaging service WhatsApp from users with a profile picture of a distorted image of woman with bulging eyes. News stories about the Momo challenge have also attracted hundreds of thousands of shares on Facebook in a 24-hour period, dominating the list of …

Momo hoax: schools, police and media told to stop promoting viral challenge

Childrens charities say warnings about online suicide challenge have done more harm than good Britains media, schools and police forces were told on Thursday to stop promoting an online hoax about the so-called Momo challenge, amid fears that unjustified warnings about the supposed phenomenon risked doing more harm than good. The Momo challenge centres on false claims that a mysterious character is using WhatsApp messages to encourage children to kill themselves. After it moved from the fringes of the internet to the mass media, interventions from authority figures were blamed for creating a full-blown moral panic and genuine fear among children. Questions were raised in parliament on Thursday about what the government planned to do about the hoax, while hundreds …