Over the past few weeks, the "Momo Challenge" has resurfaced across North America, causing parents to worry about their children's safety. While many outlets have reported that the "Momo Challenge" could be a hoax, schools and some law enforcement are taking the matter seriously. Earlier this week, a school district in BC released a lengthy statement warning parents about the dangers of the "Momo Challenge" and explained that Momo could be present in the videos their children watch on YouTube.
SD43 issued the "Momo Challenge" statement to families in Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam, BC.
While some claim that Momo is a hoax, SD43 claims that the Momo Challenge has resurfaced on some social media platforms, including YouTube. According to the school district, the Momo Challenge began back in 2016 on Whatsapp.
Similar to what Narcity reported last year, the challenge reportedly begins by someone associated with the name Momo, contacts a child or person on the instant messaging app. From there, the messages usually begin by the person asking "Wanna play a game?"
In addition, Momo reportedly tells the child their own address as a way to coerce them into engaging in the game. The statement reads, "As the motive to follow through with the challenge, Momo tells the child that they know where they live (the address can typically be found through reverse search of the phone number) along with their parent’s name, which is generally connected to the phone number. This can escalate to threats towards family and or loved ones if the child does not follow through with the challenge or if they contact local authorities."
The school district also explains that the Momo Challenge has recently reappeared in multiple YouTube videos, specifically in videos that are aimed towards younger viewers.
The statement reads, "Typically, the Momo Challenge will be featured in videos (such as Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Minecraft gameplay) that come from new or unreliable YouTube accounts and begins 5-10 minutes into the episode, after attempting to establish as a legitimate video. Parents/Caregivers should carefully monitor what their children watch on YouTube and only allow them to watch trusted channels."
The school district also confirms that the Momo Challenge has been reported on YouTubeKids, a platform that is meant to filter out dangerous videos and only provide kid-friendly content.
The school district officials end the statement by explaining that parents should not overreact to the situation, but they should speak to their children regarding online activity and safety.