Momo returned and now allegedly distributes instructions to children through a video. But YouTube did not find such videos, and journalists asked not to distribute fakes.
In February 2019, social networks started talking again about Momo, a horror story meme, which allegedly calls for suicide over the Internet. British media, parents and celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, have begun to spread rumors that the bird-like figure of the girl “hacked” the YouTube video and makes the children hurt themselves.
YouTube said that there are no videos of Momo on the hosting, and Western journalists asked not to panic and not to spread the fake news. They believe that Momo is a common legend that does not lead to the death of children, and such coverage of the story in the news just might adversely affect them.
The revival of the “suicidal game”
On February 21, a seven-year-old boy from Manchester told his classmates that creatures like dolls would kill them in their sleep. The mother thought that her son was threatening friends, but found out that the Challenge Momo was allegedly influenced by the child. According to the woman, her son watched a video where a girl who looked like a bird ordered a child to intimidate other children, otherwise she would kill him in a dream. The story was picked up by the British tabloids: Sun issued a warning about the “suicidal game Momo”, Metro reported that the deadly challenge appeared in the UK
On February 25, Lyn Dixon from Edinburgh said that Momo threatened her son. He was so frightened by the game he called Challenge Momo that he refused to go to sleep. According to the mother, the child said that the “eerie face” ordered him to pull out the knife and put it to his throat. On February 27, Pearl Woods from California announced that Momo had forced her 12-year-old autistic daughter to turn on a gas stove, which could cause a fire.
The reaction of parents and celebrities
On February 26, British parents began to post and distribute Facebook posts with warnings about Momo. According to them, the heroine “hacked” harmless videos on YouTube. Parents claimed that Momo appeared in the Peppa Pig cartoon and doll videos about LOL Surprise on YouTube Kids.
It appears in the middle of the show and orders the child to take pills or turn on the oven. It warns that if the children talk, it will come for the child and his family. Momo provokes children to self-harm and suicide.
On the same day, reports of concerned parents began to spread British schools.
IMPORTANT: we are aware that some nasty challenges (Momo challenge) are hacking into children’s programmes Challenges appear midway through Kids YouTube, Fortnight, Peppa pig to avoid detection by adults. Please be vigilant with your child using IT, images are very disturbing
— Northcott School Hull (@NorthcottSchool) 26 February 2019
“Important: we have learned that disgusting“ Challenges ”(“ Challenge Momo ”) are breaking into children’s programs. “Challenges” appear on Kids YouTube, [in the commercials for the game] Fortnight, and in [the cartoon] Peppa Pig, a secret from parents. Please watch your child using the technique, the images are very dangerous. ”
“Momo Challenge” – Further to the retweet from @NorthcottSchool , here are links for parents with information (please be aware that Ash Field does not control the content from external websites) :https://t.co/f9VY4wwd9v
— Ash Field Academy (@AshFieldAcad) 26 February 2019
The next day, February 27, parents began to spread such messages on Twitter. They warned that “Momo wants to kill your children,” and put screenshots of the original Facebook posts.
At the same time, the police in Northern Ireland warned of the danger of Momo and asked the parents to monitor the “safety of their children on YouTube.” Police at Craigavon City reported that “Momo is controlled by hackers who collect personal data.” The officers decided that the heroine contacted the children through WhatsApp and said that they had seen videos of her voice: “In one of the videos, a record of an ominous voice sounds, which the child orders to put a knife to the throat. In another video, a voice threatened the family if the child refused to perform the challenge. ”
Celebrities soon learned about the Challenge Momo. Kim Kardashian put a “story” on her instagram, where she asked YouTube to remove all the videos from Momo. She was joined by singer Kaylani – she retweeted a post about the danger of the heroine and encouraged her followers to read it. Hip-hop artist Tory Lanez (Daystar Peterson) asked parents to “protect children from this shit.”
Despite the claims of parents, schools, police stations, the media and celebrities, it is not known for certain whether there are any commercials with Challenge Momo, and whether they have harmed children. was unable to detect them on YouTube. At the same time, the video reloads service , where Momo allegedly threatens the audience.
Momo – Internet horror story, not a “suicidal challenge”
Momo became popular on the Internet in June 2018. Then the legend spread that it allegedly can be found in the WhatsApp messenger. It was argued that the girl requires children to injure themselves. The game was compared with the “Blue Whale”.
At the same time, the media said that a 12-year-old Argentine girl had committed suicide because of the Challenge Momo. But a few months later, the local police did not prove the connection of the child’s suicide with Momo.
Momo’s Mystery: an Internet horror story that caused concern in the West, and in Russia it became a meme
In fact, Momo is a sculpture of the head of a dark-haired girl with bird legs, the photos of which were published in 2016. Then the company Link Factory exhibited its work in the Tokyo gallery, specializing in eccentric works of art. The sculpture titled “The Woman-Bird” refers to a popular Japanese monster – a pregnant girl who died and returned as a ghost.
View this post on Instagram
MOTHER-BIRD by #LinkFactory/#KeisukeAisawa (2016, #MixedMedia #SFX #Sculpture) #BetweenMirrors ƑØLLØᙛ ► @Between.Mirrors ► @Mirror.Haus
The reaction of YouTube and journalists
On February 27, a YouTube representative said that the company had not found any videos of Challenge Momo on the site. According to him, even if the videos existed in reality, they would have been removed for violating the rules of the platform.
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) 27 February 2019
Updated (16:43): YouTube refused to monetize any Momo videos, including news clips. According to the service representative, any content with this character violates the rules of the company’s community.
The Snores publication, which specializes in testing rumors and fake news, commented : “The children may have caused themselves harm because of Momo, but information about such cases remains fragmentary. Most likely, this is the mechanism that “trolls” use to induce emotionally vulnerable children to self-harm and mock them, rather than “challenge” in social networks. ”
Foreign journalists said that there was no threat, and parents and the media spread fake news. Many have argued that Challenge Momo is an online legend, because they have not found evidence of a video with a character.
The coverage of the Momo challenge is possibly some of most irresponsible journalism in this country for ages. Samaritans say they’ve got no evidence of serious harm to children but the press coverage could now be putting vulnerable people at risk. https://t.co/DCfoRCsy3H
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) 28 February 2019
“Covering the problem of Momo is probably one of the most telling examples of irresponsible journalism in this country for ages. [The charity] Samaritans claims that they have no evidence that children have been harmed. Because of the coverage of [“challenge”], emotionally vulnerable people may be at risk. ”
“Parents keep saying that Momo is using YouTube to make children commit suicide, but that’s not true.” I love Momo. She’s not bad, and we have to revive her. ”
“This woman’s tweet retweeted 8,000 times, and this story has given a new twist. Again. I assure you, this is not even remotely similar to the truth! There is no suicidal “Challenge Momo“ that children are involved in. This is simply not the case. This deception became viral so many times that it became a meme. ”
Sometimes I wonder if growing up in Salem—AKA the Moral Panic Museum—made me more aware of this, but:
Please be less credulous about the spooky Satanic visages hypothetically haunting kids.
History reiterates that the panic it creates is the real threat.https://t.co/6IugughPao
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) 28 February 2019
Samaritans, a charitable organization that provides assistance to people who decide to commit suicide, commented : “This story is so widely covered and creates panic that emotionally vulnerable people can learn about it. Therein lies the danger. ”
The Atlantic journalist suggested that these stories distract from real difficulties: “They offer an easy way to solve a complex problem. If you can protect your child from Momo, then you can protect him from all the bad things on the Internet. Unfortunately, ensuring the safety of children in cyberspace is a much more complex and delicate task. ”
The publication of CNN suggested that the panic around Momo could attract “trolls” who would actually upload videos calling for murder on the social network.
This Challenge Momo, which inclines children to commit suicide, is similar to the story of playing The Beatles backwards to listen to satanic messages.
when you try to find actual proof of momo challenge pic.twitter.com/WrwGJ7R36e
— 9GAG (@9GAG) 28 February 2019
The reaction of users of social networks
Twitter users are not afraid of Momo, and began to prepare to meet with her.
— Astronaut Cowboy ️⃠ (@kevin_jiiimenez) 27 February 2019
“Let’s get this bitch Momo here”
— PakANigga101 (@ExtendoBandz) 27 February 2019
“I will beat her with these hands if she comes near me.”
— ᴴᴼᵁˢᵀᴼᴺ’ˢ ᵛᴱᴿᵞ ᴼᵂᴺ (@Negroologist) 27 February 2019
“Momo, come here, I am preparing to meet you”
— youtube:huntermooretv (@huntermooretv) 27 February 2019
“Just let this slut Momo come to me.”
let that momo bitch show up at my door pic.twitter.com/ISEofI7ynt
— (@nessly24k) 27 February 2019
“Let this bitch Momo just try to appear on my doorstep”
— Jess (@LucidlyJess) 27 February 2019
“Come on, weakly?”
PS In social networks they tried to turn Momo from a horror story into a positive meme.
I’m on a mission to turn this Momo thing around so meet Positive Momo pic.twitter.com/X2W5yEDqpc
— Nexpo (@NexpoYT) 28 February 2019
“My task is to improve this being Momo. Meet the Positive Momo. [Be healthy, go in for sports / They love you] ”
I’m taking Momo back. pic.twitter.com/8gp7OW6jV1
— amber ruffin (@ambermruffin) 28 February 2019
“I return Momo [Momo: Believe in yourself!]”
— NoaMegaDrive (@NoaMegaDrive) 28 February 2019
“Don’t forget to eat vegetables and drink water, guys.”