Canadian school boards are warning parents of a menacing online game, targeting children to commit suicide or carry out violent acts.
But, according to experts, “The Momo Challenge,” is nothing to worry about.
The BBC reported the online character with bulging eyes, long stringy hair and a gruesome grimace was “far more hype or hoax than reality,” citing a fact checking website called Snopes.
The challenge hit headlines in July 2018 with reports that a 12-year-old girl from a town outside of Buenos Aires committed suicide after playing the Momo challenge on What’s App.
Reports have also suggested that a number of videos on YouTube contain harmful content in illegitimate videos of cartoon Peppa Pig and Fornite.
Concerned Facebook posts from parents have said the Momo image has been spliced into YouTube videos along with disturbing language. The posts have attracted hundreds of shares and captured the attention of audiences worldwide.
Kim Kardashian even used her Instagram story as a platform to warn people of the game.
“Parents please be aware and very cautious of what your child watches on YouTube and KIDS YOUTUBE,” she wrote.
“There is a thing called ‘Momo’ that’s instructing kids to kill themselves, turn stoves on while everyone is asleep and evening threatening to kill the children if they tell their parents…. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!! INFORM EVERYONE YOU CAN,” Kardashian added.
YouTube thanked Kardashian via Instagram for sharing her concern, but later said that it has not seen any evidence of videos showing or promoting the challenge on its 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,” it said in a Feb. 27 Tweet.
The video streaming giant added through the same thread that if anyone sees harmful or dangerous challenges on its platform, they should flag them immediately.