Social media has certainly given rise to a number of 'challenges' that have been affecting a large number of unrelated people. While a few could be harmless, most of them are highly dangerous. Not even a year has passed since the Blue Whale challenge subsided, a new game has been spreading in the internet, encouraging suicides amongst teenagers.
A 12-year-old girl from Argentina recently died after participating in the terrifying 'Momo challenge'. The girl reportedly received messages from an unknown individual named 'Momo'. The girl recorded a video saying that she committed suicide because of Momo.
Momo has a display picture of a creepy, thin woman with bulging eyes. Its account and number has been circulating through Whatsapp, Facebook and YouTube.
The challenge begins as the participant receives a text from Momo. Momo reportedly sends disturbing and violent images and threatens the recipient if they refuse to participate. Throughout, Momo encourages the recipient to perform cruel acts and commit suicide. The unknown number calls and uncomfortable noises are heard, as though someone is crying in pain.
This is very similar to the Blue Whale challenge, which involved the participant to perform 50 tasks for 50 days, with the last task being suicide.
The image of a creepy woman was originally shared on Reddit. It is a sculpture named 'Mother Bird', created by Midori Hayashi, and it is on display at the Tokyo Vanilla Gallery, Japan. The artist is not
associated with the challenge.
Currently, it has been reported that the challenge is viral in Japan, Colombia and Mexico. It won't be long till it arrives in India. With the targets being teenagers between 13 and 19 with self-esteem issues, there are many social media alerts that are warning parents to look out for odd behaviour in their children.
While most reports confirm that the Momo challenge exists, some cyber experts say that it could be a hoax to steal personal data from the participant. According to Manorama, Kerala Police have found impostors who are pretending to be Momo and are sending similar messages.