TUCSON – “The Momo Challenge” – some publications say it is a viral hoax that is up there with the Tide Pod Challenge. Now it has made its way back into the internet, concerning parents across southern Arizona.
“The Momo Challenge” started last summer.
The disturbing internet trend targets children and young adults. A video featuring an odd avatar allegedly asks viewers to perform harmful and violent tasks, and take pictures to prove the tasks have been done. If the person does not comply, the avatar tells the viewer they will be harmed.
Some of those challenges include killing themselves.
NBC News reported Thursday that a YouTube spokesperson said the company has seen no evidence of Momo suicide dares spliced into content for children, and these kinds of viral “challenges” are against the company’s terms of service.
We want to clear something up regarding the Momo Challenge: We’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube. Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies.
— YouTube (@YouTube) February 27, 2019
Despite this, parents and schools across southern Arizona have been taking precautions to ensure their children’s safety.
Legacy School sent a letter to parents and guardians to make them aware of the “Momo Challenge” and provide information about it to monitor their children’s social media and the internet.
Melissa Hetzel is the Director of Clinical Services for Sonora Behavioral Health. She said if this challenge is not a hoax, it may be a form of cyberbullying that aims to terrorize children.
She said parents need to monitor their children’s behavior. If their children are having difficulties sleeping or talking about subjects that make no sense to them, they should talk to their children and find out what is bothering them.
She said parents needed to be pro-active on this matter.
Southern Arizona’s largest school district Tucson Unified School District told News 4 Tucson they would be sending letters to parents on Monday.
In the letter Legacy School sent to parents, they included the following websites to help parents better monitor their child’s internet activity.