A seemingly sinister challenge targeting children has recently resurfaced online, and a Kingston school board is taking steps to prepare teachers to discuss it with their students.
It is called the “Momo challenge,” and it’s been dubbed a “suicide game,” but according to Parent Zone, an online magazine based in the United Kingdom, there has been no evidence found of direct harm caused by the game. In fact, it’s more than likely that the game may be a hoax based out of the U.K.
This character has been popping up in videos targeted at children online.Momo has been linked to a number of well-known apps like Facebook and WhatsApp.
According to the U.K.’s National Online Safety, a grotesque, doll-like character reportedly sends graphic, violent images to young users and asks them to complete a series of increasingly bizarre and dangerous tasks.
Challenges range from watching a horror movie to engaging in self-harm and even taking their own life.
Now, the Limestone District School Board has posted an alert on social media, saying they are aware of the Momo challenge and have taken steps to make sure staff are prepared to deal with it in the classroom.
“Educators are being provided with tools to address the issue with students, should it come up in classroom discussion,” the school board wrote in a tweet.
The school board also shared a number of tips for parents on social media.
“It’s important to tell your child that Momo isn’t real and tell them not to seek out this content online,” the school board continued.
Parents are being cautioned to review parental controls on devices to ensure distressing or harmful material is blocked.
Parents are also advised to flag inappropriate content as soon as they come across it and immediately block any accounts or content providers that feature malicious content.
So far, there have been no reports of Momo hoax incidents in Kingston, and there has only been one report of Momo popping up in Canada, in Pointe-Claire, Que.
—With files from Arti Patel.