Keeping Your Child Safe Online

This week, we’ve received a few messages asking to post about the dangers of the vile “Momo” challenge, something we have refused to discuss until now.

The alleged “Momo” challenge is supposed to be a disturbing online “game” that supposedly encourages young people to harm themselves and in some cases even take their own lives. You may have seen some news about it and even the scary, photoshopped image of woman’s head that is pretty terrifying. The whole subject is disgusting and needs some attention as some children have been exposed to the image certainly and at the very least, it’s making young children fearful of going to sleep.

However, children’s charities have stated that this is a huge hoax and that kids in the UK have never been in danger on Whatsapp of being approached about this.

In fact, it’s only because people are talking about it, that its appearing online, in news, being photoshopped and in some cases being spliced now into children’s Youtube videos, in amongst the middle of their cartoons! The fact the image is being used by media is just perpetrating the hoax further and giving it a wider audience. News coverage of the ‘momo’ challenge is prompting schools or the police to warn about the supposed risks posed by the momo challenge, which has in turn produced more news stories warning about the challenge.

So, we haven’t posted the image.

Kate Tremlett, harmful content manager at the UK Safer Internet Centre, also questioned the viral social news story, telling us: “It’s a myth that is perpetuated into being some kind of reality and in some cases IS now reaching children,”

After a lengthy investigation, the NSPCC said there is no evidence to show the phenomenon is actually posing a threat to British children and added that it has received more phone calls about it from members of the media than concerned parents.

Some Tips

  1. Parents should be particularly mindful of what their kids are watching, especially on Youtube.
  2. Immediately report any disturbing videos or content with the MOMO image, so it can be removed.
  3. Showing the image to kids, with best wishes asking if they’ve seen it, may not be the best move in case it scares them unnecessarily. Instead if you need to have that talk, focus on ensuring they understand if anybody asks they harm themselves, that they know to immediately come to parents and tell them.
  4. Make sure your kids know not to accept friends they don’t know in real life.
  5. If they see something they don’t like, they should be told not to click it.

These are strange times we live in, strange in even having to explain such kind of hoaxes, but they whole subject is best reported for removal and ignored.

If you are a child reading this and still worried, please do discuss it with parents, a teacher or contact Childline in the UK who can be privately reached on 0800 1111.

Have your say. Have YOU encountered this yet in any shape or form? What can be done.

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