Not a single person has captured a video of Momo ordering children to carry out these terrifying acts.
Calm down everyone! Your kids may not, after all, be at risk from the dreaded Momo.
YouTube has insisted there is zero evidence of the Momo Challenge on its site, following the mass online hysteria that swept up the likes of Kim Kardashian.
The recurring viral story, which first grabbed headlines last summer, resurfaced this week with various media outlets reporting the character called Momo was "hacking" into children’s apps and appearing in the middle of videos, such as Peppa Pig, and instructing kids to kill themselves or their families.
The KUWTK star begged YouTube for help, sharing a message warning parents that their kids were being told to switch on the stove while everyone was asleep, and that Momo had threatened to kill them if they told any grown-ups.
But according to YouTube: "Contrary to press reports, we’ve not received any recent evidence of videos showing or promoting the Momo challenge on YouTube. Content of this kind would be in violation of our policies and removed immediately."
Indeed in the age of social media, not a single person has managed to capture video of Momo ordering children to carry out these dastardly deeds.
Making the story all the more scary was the haunting image of Momo herself, a haggard-looking female with bulging eyes and a beak-like mouth.
But when uncropped, the full image reveals it is a sculpture of an Ubume — a ghost from Japanese folklore — titled Mother Bird, supposedly by an artist named Keisuke Aisawa.
The artwork is depicted with bird-like feet which, while still creepy, it is not quite as disturbing as the human form the forwarded screenshots purport.
Children’s charities in the UK, where the hoax is believed to have originated, warned that the hysteria had generated a feedback loop, and that the mass reporting of the story created danger where there was none before.
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"These stories being highly publicized and starting a panic means vulnerable people get to know about it and that creates a risk,’ a Samaritans spokesperson told The Irish Times, adding press coverage is "raising the risk of harm."
"Currently we’re not aware of any verified evidence in this country or beyond linking Momo to suicide. What’s more important is parents and people who work with children concentrate on broad online safety guidelines."
The Momo Challenge rumor has, as previously stated, been circulating the internet since last year; however it is believed to have caught fire when the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) shared a Facebook warning, which had originated from a parents’ school Facebook group, which in turn had come from a parent posting a single warning after being told a story from her child at school.
The Momo Challenge bears similar hallmarks to the Blue Whale challenge, which was reportedly responsible for hundreds of children’s suicides in Russia in 2017, but the claims were never substantiated.
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