Critics claim Momo Challenge is a fake - but shocked parents find videos like THIS...
Warning - this contains shocking content
By Frances Sheen
February 28 2019
While parents are still trying to come to terms with the Momo Challenge - and reports children are being urged to self harm by a scary creature called Momo - some news reports are claiming the whole thing is a malicious hoax.
Momo, a bird-like creature with bulging eyes and a creepy smile, is reported to have appeared on WhatsApp and YouTube children's videos, ordering kids to undertake dangerous challenges.
But now, some children's charities say they can find no evidence of anybody receiving messages or harming themselves as a result.
However, parents disagree.
Many are concerned the Momo Challenge will now be ignored by police and safety campaigners and say these shocking videos and messages DO exist.
These parents have now taken to social media to show the videos they, or their kids, have found on the internet as proof that kids as young as two or three-years-old are being targeted in the terrifying Momo campaign.
"Whether or not it started out as a hoax doesn't really matter," said one parent. "Those videos are now out there - and children are being scared by the horrible images they see."
The video below is just one example found on Instagram but be warned it does contain upsetting material.
It's not clear where this video was found but a YouTube spokesman has said they're closely monitoring videos that appear on their site. "Content of this kind would be in violation of our policies and removed immediately," he said.
What to do if your child is scared or upset by Momo...
The National Online Safety group say there are several ways you can help your child if they have heard about the Momo Challenge and they're worried about it. These include
1 Tell them it’s not real
Much like any other monster or fictitious character, it’s important that your child understands that Momo is not a real person and cannot control them, tell them what to do or harm them. Also, tell your child not to go openly searching for this content online as it is only going to upset them and cause them distress.
2 Be present
While it’s not always possible to be with your child 24/7, it’s important that you are close to them when they are watching videos or playing with devices so you can monitor what is going on. Also, talk with your child about how they use devices and watch for any signs of behavioural changes.
3 Talk regularly with your child
Have frequent open and honest conversations with your child about screen time and let them know that they can talk with you about anything and everything they see. Encourage your child to feel confident about having discussions with you about issues and concerns they have related to the online world.
4. Get support if necessary
Speak with educators at your child’s school if you have concerns regarding their online activity. If your child sees something distressing it is important they know who to turn to for support and guidance. They can also contact the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
For more ways to help, Practical Parenting has put together an online safety guide for parents and children, here.