1 March 2019

The importance of Fact Checking – The MOMO challenge

You will have no doubt noticed that in the news recently there has been a worrying trend reported known as the MOMO challenge. The articles reported that MOMO was communicating with young people through WhatsApp and even trusted platforms and media such as children’s videos on YouTube Kids; Peppa Pig was often cited. Within this communication MOMO was supposedly asking children to self-harm or take part in equally disturbing tasks and ‘challenges’.

None of this is true.

Multiple charities including the NSPCC have fact checked and discovered that there is no proof of the challenge existing beyond media reports. They warn that media coverage has amplified a false scare story and in reality, made the situation worse by merely discussing it. A lot of these issues arise through platforms such as Facebook where people willingly share ‘news’ without verifying the credibility of the story for themselves.

Multiple sources are now reporting that the challenge is a hoax

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47393510

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/28/viral-momo-challenge-is-a-malicious-hoax-say-charities

The hoax aside, it is always important to remind children that help is always available if they or someone they are worried about is discussing, considering or acting on self harm. We are once again reminding children that help is available through talking to a trusted adult, teacher or through the various organisations of which they are aware such as Childline. Please take this opportunity to remind your child / children of this.

https://www.childline.org.uk/

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/