What is Momo? What is the Momo suicide game? Everything you need to know, including how to protect your children

27 February 2019, 16:54 | Updated: 27 February 2019, 16:56

Parents have been warned about the Momo game
Parents have been warned about the Momo game. Picture: Getty
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

What is Momo? What is the Momo challenge and how can you protect your children from it?

Momo has become a conversation topic after the online “suicide game” surfaced in the UK.

One mother warned people on Facebook after discovering her son had played the game.

But what is Momo? Who is the character Momo and how can you keep your children safe?

What is Momo?

Momo is a “suicide” game, known to be played on WhatsApp.

The image of Momo is a disturbing face of a girl, with black dishevelled hair, large eyes and a wide mouth.

The game is believed to have started on Facebook, according to the Computer Crime Investigation Unit in the Mexican state of Tabasco.

The Momo character reportedly replies to message with violent requests, in a dare form.

9News Australia reported: “Users who engage with Momo on WhatsApp are sent disturbing and graphic photographs and in some cases are ‘doxed’ into self-harm and suicide.”

The Momo face has gone viral around the world
The Momo face has gone viral around the world. Picture: SG

Has anyone died from Momo?

The death of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina has been linked to the Momo game by police, Buenos Aires Times reported.

Back in August 2018, the death of a teenager in India was also linked to the disturbing game.

Following this, a 12-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy died from suicide in Colombia after reportedly playing the Momo game.

Momo in the UK

Recently, a mum in the UK warned other parents over the Momo game after her son told other children they would be “killed in their beds” while playing to game.

The mother from Bolton shared her story on the Love Westhoughton Facebook page.

"When I collected him from school the teacher asked to talk to me. She said ***** had made 3 kids cry by telling them that 'Momo was going to go into their room at night and kill them'.

"When we got home I spoke to him about this and he told me that some kids at school had told him to look at the 'Momo challenge' which he did."

The game has been linked to a number of deaths
The game has been linked to a number of deaths. Picture: Getty

How to protect your children from Momo

The NSPCC’s website says: “When responding to cases of online abuse, it's important for adults to understand the impact it can have on a young person’s wellbeing.”

They suggest listening calmly to what your child is saying, remember that the young person could be embarrassed and ashamed, and be non-judgmental and to assure your child it is never their fault.

If you would like to report online abuse, you can contact NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or by emailing help@nspcc.org.uk.

How to talk to your children about Momo

National Online Safety - a group of online safety experts that provides advice for schools - has now issued some tips for parents to keep their kids safe from Momo.

They issued a statement saying: "There have been recent reports that some seemingly innocent videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids (such as ‘surprise eggs’, unboxing videos and Minecraft videos) have been edited by unknown sources to include violence provoking and/or other inappropriate content.

National Online Safety's tips on keeping children safe from Momo
National Online Safety's tips on keeping children safe from Momo. Picture: National Online Safety

"Even though YouTube monitor and remove videos that include inappropriate content, clips can be uploaded and viewed thousands of times before they get reported and removed.

"As a parent, it’s difficult to spot these videos as the harmful content doesn’t appear until partway through the video."