YouTube: ‘No evidence’ of Momo Challenge videos on the site

Posted: Updated:

It appears that recent warnings of harmful videos showing up on YouTube may be nothing more than a hoax.

Warnings about the Momo Challenge swept Facebook and other social media in recent days, with warnings that the disturbing images were embedded in the middle of children’s videos.

News 12 New Jersey has previously reported about the Momo Challenge, where a creepy picture of a woman is said to appear online with instructions to commit dares – sometimes dangerous ones. These challenges reportedly have led to some young people harming themselves or committing suicide.

But YouTube released a statement that said in part, “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 officials also ask anyone who sees videos containing harmful or dangerous challenges to flag them immediately. "These challenges are clearly against our Community Guidelines," the company said in a statement.

Experts say internet hoaxes focused on children tap into fears that parents have about protecting their children online and elsewhere.

Jill Murphy of the nonprofit Common Sense Media says parents may feel caught off guard by what their kids are seeing. That's why talking to children is important. Murphy says parents can help kids understand that not everything online is real.

She also suggests that parents take advantage of parental controls built into products and services.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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