It has been brought to my attention that some children in school have been discussing the “MoMo Challenge” at home. If your child is mentioning “MoMo” or the “MoMo Challenge”, this is what you need to know ……..
MoMo is a new viral game that encourages players to perform a series of challenges in order to meet ‘Mother Bird’ – a disfigured character with bulging eyes and untidy black hair. Light-hearted and fun at the outset, this game experience quickly darkens, absorbing players who are encouraged to perform acts of violence and self-harm through a series of progressively risky challenges. Originating in Mexico, it is easily accessed through social media shares (predominantly Facebook and YouTube) and is rapidly spreading across the world.
The challenges issued in this game present a serious risk to the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people in our schools, as does the distressing content when a player refuses to carry on.
What dangers does a child face?
• Players are encouraged to contact MoMo and provide their mobile number.
• They will then receive instructions to perform a series of challenges, via SMS or WhatsApp.
• Player refusal can trigger severely abusive messaging and their mobile device being hacked.
• The final challenge is to commit suicide in order to meet ‘Mother Bird’.
What to do
A person doesn’t have to be searching for MoMo themselves to be exposed to it and, unlike other games that children enjoy, there is no positive side to this. Parents/Carers need to educate/reinforce online safety, and in this way encourage children and young people to make the right choice and avoid this game:
The importance of confidently saying “no” to invitations to play games from strangers.
Knowing why they should not click on unidentified links.
Knowing how to ‘block’ unknown numbers and friend requests.
Please inform school if your child accesses the MoMo challenge.