By Faye Wasilowski
Parents have been warned to monitor their children’s online activity, as a viral suicide video spreads across the internet.
Birkenhead High School Academy have issued emails to parents, warning them about the dangers of the video.
Vice Principle Barbara Carter said: “Some of our students in both junior and seniors have spoken to staff about a new ‘game’ online called the MOMO challenge. It is frightening them and encouraging them to complete challenges, including it had been reported, to kill themselves.”
It is suggested that the Momo doll messages children through WhatsApp and encourages self-harm and suicide.
Children are then asked to save the Momo doll as a contact in order to carry out the challenges. Children are also warned not to tell other family members about the messages that they may receive.
Fact checking website Snopes warned harm could still come to children, even if the video is a hoax.
It has been reported by several newspaper articles that the momo challenge has been “linked” to the deaths of 130 teenagers in Russia. These reports have not yet been confirmed.
It was in 2018 that the momo challenge first hit the internet, with reports that a 12-year-old Argentinian girl hung herself, after being “motivated” by the momo challenge.
Police have advised parents to take this opportunity to educate their children about the importance of internet safety, as well as encourage an open conversation about the use of the internet.
If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, then you can access help through the websites below.
Childline – on 0800 1111
PAPYRUS – 0800 068 4141