Local response to the Momo Challenge

By now you have heard of the Momo challenge. Depending on what you read on social media, some think it’s a hoax while others think it’s a real danger to our youth.

South Simcoe Police have released the following regarding The Cyberbullying ‘Momo Challenge’ 

(Innisfil, Bradford, ON) South Simcoe Police Service would like to alert the public to a cyberbullying phenomenon that encourages young people to complete dangerous tasks including self-harm. We are urging parents to warn their children not to engage in the so-called “Momo Challenge,” a game spread across social media that targets children and youth. We have not received any reports regarding this online challenge but would like the community to be aware.

We advise parents to have conversations with your children and teens about the risks associated with engaging in online “challenges.” Parents need to stay informed about online risks. Advise your children never to respond to a text or online message from someone they do not know.

The “Momo Challenge”involves users receiving an invitation on social messaging platforms, including WhatsApp, Snapchat and Fortnite to message an account called “Momo.” Momo, a scary looking female figure, asks to be contacted through a social media site and then asks the person to perform a series of dangerous tasks including self-harm.

If contacted by a Momo account, block the number immediately and do not respond to it.

The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board has released a FACT SHEET.

Here is just one of their tips for Parents.

Be a Good Listener and Observer Let children guide you to learn how concerned they are or how much information they need. Depending on your child’s age and maturity level, you may wish to check with your children and speak to them in a general sense about any untrue and scary messages they may be exposed to on the Internet, Apps and social media. Be available to answer their questions to the best of your ability. Young children may be hesitant to tell you about scary content they have received. Pay attention to changes in their behavior or social interactions. Keep the dialogue open – encourage your children to be open with you and ask freely about what they see on the Internet.

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