Primary school says parents of five-year-olds have reported worries about Momo ‘suicide challenge’
PUBLISHED: 09:15 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 27 February 2019
A Norfolk school has joined others around the world in warning parents about the dangers of the internet ‘suicide game’ Momo.
St William’s Primary School, in Thorpe St Andrew, sent a message to parents about the viral ‘game’, which challenges young people to harm themselves and others and send them graphic images.
In a post on Facebook the school said it had received “worrying reports from parents” about the challenge, which features a haunting female doll-like avatar and is linked to various social media sites and messaging app WhatsApp.
The post said parents of pupils as young as five years old had reported that they had come into contact with the challenge, adding that it had been “hacking in to some very innocent sites” including Peppa Pig online.
The school shared a guidance document for parents on Momo, explaining how they can try and stop their children viewing content around the challenge and how to respond to them if they do.
It offers tip such as monitoring and talking to your child about their online activity, encouraging them not to bow to peer pressure or do anything they are not comfortable with, adjusting parental controls on devices and reporting or blocking any content which slips through the controls.
In comments on Facebook, parents welcomed St William’s Primary’s proactive response to the Momo challenge, with some saying their children had already been affected or scared by it.
The Momo challenge originated in Mexico more than two years ago but has recently hit international headlines.
It is most commonly linked to WhatsApp and YouTube, where images relating to the challenge have even been edited into videos designed for young children.
It has been linked to the deaths of teenagers in Colombia and India and has also surfaced in Germany, France and Argentina.
Some police forces have warned the challenge is being used as a conduit for stealing young people’s data and blackmailing them.
Have you or your child experienced the Momo challenge? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.