The “Momo Suicide Challenge” first reared its ugly head last year, reportedly whispering creepy things to whoever saw the disfigured being, encouraging people and young kids to harm themselves.
After a good long period of silence about the dangerous challenge, it seems to have returned, starting with a parent from the U.K. claiming that they had found it on popular messaging app Whatsapp and YouTube while watching supposedly child-friendly videos about the likes of Fortnite and Peppa Pig.
Warnings have been reissued for parents to watch their children and keep an eye on their online activity, but amidst all this, YouTube has responded to the concerns. According to Comic Book, the popular video sharing site has denied any presence of the Momo Suicide Challenge on the platform.
“Contrary to press reports, we’ve not received any recent evidence of videos showing or promoting the Momo challenge on YouTube,” a spokesperson for the site said. “Content of this kind would be in violation of our policies and removed immediately.”
One mother has claimed that her son was watching a video on YouTube that suddenly paused itself for a message from Momo.
“He couldn’t hear everything it said but it was saying ‘I’m going to kill you’ and he thinks it said ‘I will hurt your friends.’ He turned it off straight away and ran downstairs. He was absolutely terrified. He wouldn’t leave my side at all after it happened.”
She then added that he had to sleep in her bed that night because he was too afraid to sleep in his own, and he even insisted that the family dog also sleep on the bed.
Whatsapp also responded to the claim about the horrendous challenge showing up on the messaging app with a statement of their own.
“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.”
Experts believe that the Momo challenge is actually nothing more than an elaborate hoax intent on spreading fear. Rather than causing widespread panic, they have encouraged parents and individuals to do extensive research before sharing their concerns with others.
The fact that YouTube claims to have no evidence of any trace of a Momo Suicide Challenge on the site would seem to support this theory. While WhatsApp has not directly denied the existence of the content, their statement doesn’t confirm it either.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.