It seems another dangerous viral game is doing the rounds on social media, and once again, it’s young people who are most likely to be in danger.
It’s always seems to be young people who become the tragic victims of these viral and social media challenges, especially with the latest, known as Momo.
A Georgia-based YouTube content creator tried the game to show the world just how dangerous playing it can be.
Momo has been compared to another deadly social media ‘game’ known as Blue Whale. It’s gained notoriety after a 12-year-old girl in Argentina died after taking part.
The young girl is believed to have taken her own life in the garden of her family home in Ingeniero Maschwitz, an Argentinian town less than 30 miles from Buenos Aires, according to the Buenos Aires Times.
Her tragic death has investigators looking at the possibility as to whether the so-called Momo Game – a WhatsApp-based challenge which supposedly began in Japan – played a part in the tragic event.
Speaking to InsideEdition, vlogger Shane Andrews said:
I believe this needs to be brought to [people’s] awareness so we can talk about it and get other people knowing exactly what they need to look out for.
To find out more about the WhatsApp game, Andrews – who runs a channel called Repzilla which, ‘exposes the truth, and uncovers the internet’s greatest mysteries’ – decided to play it so he could get a better understanding of what it’s about, as well as the potential danger.
According to both Andrews and InsiderEdition, Momo will call and message the user. They will harass and encourage the user to harm themselves before telling them to take their own life.
I was met with some very violent images and text messages that I cannot show. The messages were scary. They said that they knew personal things about me which they couldn’t possibly know.
At one point during his conversation with Momo, the ‘game’ asks Andrews to harm himself.
They want you to do small tasks, like wake up at odd hours, overcome a fear. Then it escalates quickly … [to challenges] like jumping off a house and ending your life. You’re supposed to document these things [on] video.
The young girl is alleged to have filmed herself on a phone prior to her death, and investigators believe she may have been coerced into taking her own life.
Andrews, who said he would publish his Momo video, explains:
Children can easily download the app, can easily be on Facebook. All they have to [do is] hear about it and say, ‘I am going to do that,’ and say, ‘That’s not a big deal’ and then be sucked in by the psychological push and pull of the method.
WhatsApp released a statement today which said:
WhatsApp cares deeply about the safety of our users. It’s easy to block any phone number and we encourage users to report problematic messages to us so we can take action.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.