BENGALURU: Thousands of city parents are panicking over the creepy images and clips of a disturbing character on the video sharing website. The messages were circulated on WhatsApp and shared on numerous platforms like Facebook and Instagram, warning parents to keep their children away from watching the cartoon Peppa Pig.
The image of the woman, better known as the infamous ‘Momo’, shows up on Peppa Pig episodes or the computer game Fortnite. The video begins like any other episode of Peppa Pig, but three minutes in, a distorted face with bulging eyes appears on the screen and a creepy robotic voice begins speaking. ‘Slice your leg and you will never see me,’ the voice says, or ‘slice your wrists and your parents will never see me.’
Scared parents were concerned that the ‘Momo Challenge’ could lead their kids to hurt themselves. “I received this message about the video, my three-year-old daughter watches Peppa Pig every day. I was scared and circulated the text to all her friends’ parents, as I knew that at least 10 to 15 of them watch Peppa Pig,” said Sripriya SL.
“These videos are appearing on many social media sites and YouTube. While one video pops up on a Peppa Pig episode, another shows a woman in a white mask who prompts children to do dangerous tasks without telling their parents. These include, ‘turn the gas on’ or ‘find and take tablets’. Such videos, even if they are pranks, should be taken off the internet,” said Rashmika NM, a banker and mother of a four-year-old.
However, online reports claim that YouTube insisted that the content has not been found on YouTube Kids, and said that it only permitted news and videos that are intended to raise awareness on dangers of the challenge.
“Content of this kind would be in violation of our policies and removed immediately,” an online report stated, quoting YouTube.
Meanwhile, a senior officer from the cyber crime police in Bengaluru, on condition of anonymity, said they had received a few calls from parents and are checking the authenticity and root of these messages.