Palm Beach County schools unblocked YouTube access this Monday, after previously blocking the website from the school's computers. The school district made this decision because of the "Momo Challenge."
The "Momo Challenge" was based on the image of a big-eyed Japanese sculpture that encourage children to commit dangerous, harmful acts. The "Momo Challenge" appears to be a hoax because there have been no confirmed reports of the challenge in the US. The challenge was supposedly connected to the death of a girl in Argentina, but there have been no confirmed links.
Even though the "Momo Challenge" appears to be a hoax, the Palm Beach County School District temporarily blocked Youtube. Some of the schools in the district reported that while watching educational YouTube videos, the "Momo Challenge" video would appear. Officials of Palm Beach County decided to place the county-wide ban on YouTube.
The Performance Accountability Chief for the school district, Mark Howard, sent a note to principals last Friday, stating that they were taking extreme caution by banning YouTube.
After the appearances of a hoax, YouTube access has been restored. The ban does not limit the students' access to YouTube on their cellphones and other electronic devices.
We want to clear something up regarding the Momo Challenge: We’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube. Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies.— YouTube (@YouTube) February 27, 2019
Youtube released a statement on Twitter, stating that they take threats of dangerous challenges towards children very seriously. They are working to remove any content that is flagged for the Momo Challenge and anything like it.
YouTube access has now been restored to the school district. For anyone who wants more information on internet safety for children, visit the district's TechSafe website.