Beware, guys. A new challenge has been created, and it’s not the encouraging sort of challenge. Seemingly the successor to the horrible Blue Whale Challenge, the Momo Challenge is the latest challenge to circulate on various social media platforms, apparently leading to suicides. But is that all there is to the challenge?
Follow My Instructions, Or Else…
The Momo Challenge begins when one adds or messages a Momo-associated contact on WhatsApp. Once the conversation starts, Momo sends disturbing, violent images to coerce people into following “her” instructions. Momo’s instructions have been reported to be acts of self-harm, ultimately leading to suicide. If the “challenger” doesn’t comply, Momo threatens to release their personal information.
But Could It Be Just A Front?
Apparently, some sources state that the Momo Challenge is about gaining access to personal information and installing spyware. As soon as one interacts with Momo, “she” hacks into your phone, and gains access to everything on it. According to Redditor jul10bc, “A student of mine did this yesterday and after receiving some gore images, insults and dead threats through WhatsApp she covered her face with her hand while holding her phone and she immediately received a message saying ‘stop covering your face with your hands.’ So this proves to me that they have installed spyware on her phone.”
The Woman With Bulging Eyes
Momo’s profile picture is of a woman with a creepy smile and bulging eyes. However, it is actually a cropped picture of a sculpture. Link Factory, a Japanese special effects company, created her as a bird-woman, and somehow she has become the face of Momo. Link Factory is in no way associated with the Momo Challenge. I don’t know about you, but she gives me the heebie-jeebies and looks like the stuff nightmares are made of.
Suicides Linked to the Momo Challenge
The Momo Challenge gained widespread attention after the death of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina was linked to it. It is believed that she took part in this challenge prior to her death. Nothing is confirmed yet, since authorities are still in the midst of investigations. Some have even dismissed it as a hoax as they tried texting the numbers and found them inactive, but we can never be too careful. The numbers associated with “Momo” are from Japan (813), Columbia (52), and Mexico (57). This game is somehow popular in Spanish-speaking countries, and has been reported in Mexico, Argentina, the U.S., France, and Germany.
Whether the Momo Challenge is a suicide advocate, ruthless hacker, or just a hoax, we should take precautions to protect ourselves. Stay safe by observing the number 1 rule we always tell children: don’t talk to strangers! And stay away from the Momo Challenge!