We have been made aware of this information. Please pass this on to your friends and family so we collectively safe-guard all children and young people together.
There is currently a high media presence in relation to the social media ‘Momo challenge’ s The ‘Momo; challenge is when a large doll figure with bulging eyes and a ‘creepy’ grin encourages children to add a contact on messaging service WhatsApp, then hounds children with violent messages and dares. It encourages children to self-harm and the ultimate post tells them to take their own lives. The police believe that ‘Momo’ maybe being run by hackers who are looking for information. The ‘Momo’ contact can also threaten the victim’s family if the ‘challenge’ is not completed. There are now numerous variations and imitators of this. The danger lies with children feeling pressured to either follow the orders on any app by carrying out the ‘challenges’ or because of peer pressure in chat rooms. Guidance to parents should be to:
Signs to watch out for include children who:
If adults are concerned or have any questions on how to approach the subject with their children, they can contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
Children who are worried about their activity on apps or online games can contact Childline 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or https://www.childline.org.uk/
It is understood the original artwork used by the hackers has been taken from a designer in Japan who has no connection whatsoever with the Momo challenge.
A reminder to parents and children as of May 2018, WhatsApp’s minimum age of use is 16 years old in the UK. Further guidance for parents available at https://parentinfo.org/article/whatsapp-a-guide-for-parents-and-carers
If any parent/ carers want information about how to set controls on any devices please do email A7017@taw.org.uk and as a school we will offer that advice we can.
Kind regards to all
The Bridge School