Holly Willoughby admits she 'doesn't know' how to protect her son, 9, from Momo 'hoax'

1 March 2019, 13:24 | Updated: 1 March 2019, 13:31

Holly Willoughby and momo
Holly Willoughby and momo. Picture: ITV

This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby expressed her concerns about the viral story, now that she's a mother to

Holly Willoughby has expressed her fears about how to protect her children online, in the wake of the Momo challenge.

The sick hoax, had many parents fearing over the safety of their children online, after it was reported the viral character had been manipulating kids into harming themselves and others.

The UK Safer Internet Centre have since stated there is no evidence to suggest the Momo had been linked to any deaths, and they have urged the public to stop scaremongering with what they believe is 'fake news'.

Mum-of-three, Holly expressed her concerns on This Morning while speaking to expert Anna Coulton.

She said: "Harry is nine, and he watches things online. I've been aware of [momo] because I'd seen it in the press but I didn't quite understand how it works - that it just pops up on these things and that it's there all the time.

"Do I draw his attention to it? I'm a mum and I don't know what to do."

Read more: Is Momo challenge a hoax? Schools warned to stop promoting false story

Anna replied: "It is difficult, and everyone will have their own approach to their own children.

"For me, it's a bit like crossing the road, we train our kids from a really young age; we talk about the dangers of the cars and we talk about the fact that you can't do it on your own and you have to hold your mums hand.

"With internet safety it needs to be drip fed from a tiny age like that, and if you're child is not old enough to cross the road on their own, you don't let them."

However, Holly raised concerns over 'perpetuating fear' after police, schools, and media were urged to stop spreading what charities believe is false information.

Holly added: "The worrying thing is, with something like Momo, it's spread by fear. If I went home and told Harry 'there's this thing called Momo' he might go to school and be like 'have you heard about Momo?' Am I then perpetuating it?"

This week, the Momo game was discussed in parliament as people raised questions over what was to be done about the character causing fear among parents and children.

Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, told the Guardian: “When trying to highlight risks to children, particularly in the online arena, it’s important to step back and assess what the real risk is.“Sometimes, however well-meaning, warning of the dangers of something that you haven’t fully looked into amplifies its impact on children beyond the actual fact.”