Months after the Blue Whale challenge led to a spate of global suicides among teenagers, another viral suicide challenge has now begun to cause trouble.
Called the Momo Challenge, this one involves Facebook's messenger app Whatsapp, and is believed to induce teenagers into violent acts.
What’s the challenge?
Momo Challenge is a viral challenge that's reportedly circulated on Whatsapp.
The game started on Facebook, where members were challenged into communicating with an unknown number, The Sun said in its report.
The face of 'The Momo Challenge' is an image of a horrifying doll called ‘Mother Bird’ with bulging eyes and a wide mouth. The game challenges children to engage in a series of violent acts that end with suicide.
The sculpture of ‘Mother Bird’ is attributed to Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, and is currently on display at Tokyo’s Vanilla Gallery, with other kinds of horror art. The artist however is believed to have nothing to do with the challenge.
MOMO challenge spreading through the social media, like the BlueWhale Challenge, is learned to persuade children's who are playing it to harm oneself and even tempting them to commit suicide. All are advised not to fall prey to these dangerous games.#momo #cyberdome #childsaftey pic.twitter.com/Yz5uBQ3ROf— Cyberdome Kerala (@CyberdomeKerala) August 6, 2018
Suicide of a 12-year-old girl from Argentina's Escobar has been blamed on the game. Security agencies in Mexico have already issued a warning
“Warning for new challenge in children and young people, avoid talking to strangers, seek information that can be used against you,” Mexico’s UIDI FGE Tabasco said in a tweet. The challenge has reportedly attracted children in the United States, Argentina, France, Mexico and Germany.
National Police of Spain has also issued warnings against the challenge, as has Kerala's cyber police.
Cybercrime experts however believe that the challenge is a hoax meant to extort personal information.