Described by Paper magazine as a “…saucer-eyed, lipless bird lady with trendy bangs and Voldemort nostrils,” it’s easy to see why Momo is the latest social media scare, as it’s reportedly being hacked into child-friendly apps such as Peppa Pig, Fornite and YouTube Kids. But read this before you ban your young ones from using the internet.
More parents have been watching Peppa Pig with their children than ever before, after a concerned mom reported: “For the first couple of minutes, the fake cartoon appears completely legit. But then around three minutes in, Peppa and other characters begin to be attacked, mutilated and tortured.”
But it’s not just Peppa under attack – her underage viewers have also fallen prey to something sinister, as Metro reports that a five-year-old girl cut off her hair while watching Peppa Pigbecause she told her mom ‘Momo told me to’.
But who is Momo and why is everyone terrified of her?
Images emerged of the ghost-themed ‘Mother Bird’ sculpture, created by Japanese artists for special effects company Link Factory for a gallery back in 2016 after visitors posted gallery snaps to Instagram. Then they appeared Reddit’s r/creepypasta forum, before morphing into the Momo Challenge.
What is the Momo Challenge?
Those images were linked to a children’s game that was said to be started on Facebook, where members were “challenged” to communicate with an unknown number over WhatsApp and then said to perform often dangerous tasks, resulting in self-harm and even suicide.
But where is the proof? According to Vox:
Experts say there is no indication that children are being driven to suicide since the story went viral. YouTube said previously it had no evidence of videos promoting the challenge, and it’s since demonetised content featuring the signature Momo image that has cropped up since the hysteria bubbled into the mainstream.
While there’s been renewed effort in keeping children safe online as a result, Engadgetreports, “Your kids are fine, literally nobody on the entire internet has fallen for this — except, well, countless adults, law enforcement agencies, news outlets and school districts. You know, the responsible folks.”