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Adeje schoolkids warned about ‘Momo Challenge’

CEIP Barranco de Las Torres school in Adeje has alerted students about the presence of the image, and potential dangers of the “Momo Challenge”, which has spread across the internet in recent weeks.

Although the “dare game” is being heralded as a hoax, primary-school youngsters across the UK have already been made aware of the dangers, and now children at the Tenerife school are receiving the same information.

The alleged intention of the “Momo” monster is to encourage children to take up its challenges, via Whatsapp, after “popping-up” during children’s YouTube programmes.

That person, hiding behind the cartoon face, will then, gradually, establish a connection with the child, persuading him or her to take on a series of tests, some of which involving self-harming.

In some cases, she even asks kids to take their own lives, and they are manipulated into thinking that if they don’t accept these challenges, something bad will happen to them, or their loved ones.

On 27th February, YouTube reacted to social media requests to remove the videos from its platform, and carried out an extensive investigation to find the content. But it found no evidence of Momo anywhere in any video.

Following this, they released an official press release saying: “We want to clear something up regarding the Momo challenge. We’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo challenge on YouTube. Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies.”

Following this declaration, fact-checkers and charities declared Momo a hoax.

“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,” said The Guardian’s Jim Waterson.

Kate Tremlett, “harmful content” manager at the UK Safer Internet Centre, also questioned the viral, social news story, saying: “It’s a myth that is perpetuated into being some kind of reality.”

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

A spokesperson for the Samaritans was similarly sceptical, saying: “These stories being highly-publicised, and starting a panic, means vulnerable people get to know about it, and that creates a risk.”

To this day there is no physical evidence of a screen shot, or recorded video, showing Momo appearing on YouTube or any other platform.

The fact that the Canarian Government and schools are educating children about the dangers of the internet, is a good thing, and, although the challenge may be a hoax, the image is in circulation, which is scary enough for some young kids.

The Momo Challenge, like the 2016 Blue Whale challenge, are both viral hoaxes, dreamed up by sick, internet bullies, aimed at vulnerable children to create panic.

Yet, neither has been proven to exist, or has led to any deaths.

 

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=46650

Posted by on Mar 15 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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