Potentially deadly: Parents warned about the ‘Momo Challenge’
New Jersey educators are warning parents about a potentially deadly “challenge” on social media that is putting young lives at risk.
The “Momo Challenge” generally starts on social media sites like Facebook or WhatsApp. Children and teens are contacted by an anonymous person and asked to perform a task or dare. The dares become more dangerous and violent over time and the anonymous contact may also ask for photographic or video proof of the tasks.
In at least one reported case, a 12-year-old Argentinian girl’s suicide was linked to the “Momo Challenge.”
The Brick Township School District says that officials recently learned of the trend and are reaching out to parents to warn them of the potential dangers.
Superintendent Gerard Dalton said in a letter to parents, “The ‘Momo Challenge’ is just one example of dangerous ‘games’ through social media that has a negative impact on students and their social interactions. Here in the schools and for you at home, it continues to be challenging to monitor and address the ever developing and changing topics related to social media."
There have been several cases of so-called “social media challenges” becoming deadly or harmful to teenagers and children. The “Tide Pod Challenge” encouraged teens to ingest laundry detergent. The “Fire Challenge” encouraged participants to film themselves while setting various body parts on fire.
School officials in Brick Township are offering up their school counselors to help parents who might have any questions regarding these social trends and how to deal with them.