Centre issues advisory against deadly ‘Momo challenge’, asks parents to be alert

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) on September 11 issued an advisory against the ‘Momo challenge’ and asked the parents to monitor their children’s online and social media activity to ensure they are not engaging in this deadly game.

Momo is a social media account on WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube, which uses the image of a horror artwork to induce curiosity among children. It further challenges children to communicate with an unknown number and consists of variety of self-harming dares and it finally ends with a suicide challenge. The account appears to be connected to three numbers in Japan.

If in case a user refuses to follow the game’s orders, Momo threatens them with violent images.

“Monitor your children’s online and social media activity to ensure they are not engaging with this challenge. Parents should take reports from child counselor present in the school at regular intervals,” advisory reads.

WCD Ministry urges parents to keep their eyes open to check for their child’s involvement in the game.

Ministry advised parents not to mention or disclose about the Momo challenge unless the child already knows about it, the advisory said that by doing so would increase the chance that the child will search for it on their own.

Ministry asked parents to remain alert and keep a continuous check on sudden increase in new phone numbers and email contacts in their device.

Ministry advised parents to install a good cyber or mobile parenting software which helps them in monitoring children.