“Momo Challenge” Is A Hoax, According To Experts
CHARLOTTE, NC. — A viral image of a creepy character, supposedly promoting self-harm, is a hoax. The “Momo challenge” may not be real, but the panic it inspired is, and that might be the scariest thing.
The bizarre character with bulging eyes, long hair and creepy smile has gone viral in the latest social media scare called the “Momo challenge”. The image supposedly shows up in child-friendly videos and on “WhatsApp”. It’s reportedly used to convince kids to hurt themselves, or worse.
Schools and law enforcement agencies have issued warnings that have quickly spread through online parenting groups. Cybersecurity experts say, chill out, it’s not real.
Jefferson Pike with Fortalice Solutions tells WCCB there’s no evidence to prove the “Momo challenge” is real. What’s going viral is the panic it’s causing.
“The response is going viral and people are overreacting all over the place. There’s actually no cause to start it,” says Pike.
It blew up on social media with concerned parents urging others to spread the word. Even A-list celebrities like Kim Kardashian calling on YouTube to stop the “Momo challenge”.
YouTube tweeted Wednesday they’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo challenge.
Psychologist Dr. Ryan Kelly tells me spreading the false scare of the “Momo challenge” could be dangerous.
“Spreading of, oh gosh be careful, and riling up more panic, then at-risk kids might be more likely to think or act upon self harm thoughts,” says Dr. Kelly.