It’s a disturbing avatar derived from a sculpture produced by a special effects firm. With a huge, beak-like mouth, stringy hair and bulging eyes, the impression is of a scary mask or a woman with oddly-distorted features.
This image is known as “Momo” on the internet and accompanies a “game” that threatens violence if the player, usually a child or teen, doesn’t perform potentially dangerous activities. The Momo Challenge actually is a new form of cyberbullying that is going viral on social media and cellphones.
Spread through Facebook and WhatsApp, the message targeting kids and teenagers tells them to do certain tasks that start out simple and then escalate to violence and even self-inflicting harm. The children are also told that they must show photo proof of accomplishing the deeds or face punishments including death.
For example, a first-grader was told that if he didn’t push another friend, Momo would come during the night while he slept and stab him.
School District Takes Action To Warn Parents about Momo Challenge
The superintendent of the Barnegat Township School District in New Jersey recently sent a letter home to warn parents about the dangers of the Momo Challenge.
The Cape May police department has also added a warning on its Facebook page.
How To Discuss this Cyberbullying Tactic with Your Children
Children as young as first-graders have been threatened with bodily harm if they don’t comply with the Momo Challenge directives.
You can start a non-threatening conversation with your younger children by asking them if they have seen any scary things pop up on their tablets or phone. Ask them gently to show you if they see any frightening images.
For older kids, get a commitment from them that they will seek you out if the Momo Challenge is sent to them. Help them to understand that this is not a fun game, but is a form of cyberbullying and potentially dangerous.
Let Us Know If Your Family Has Been Affected by Bullying
If you or a family member has experienced bullying, sexual assault, sexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Essex County, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.