Enough With the MOMO Silliness!
Every few months, it seems another "threat" to all things good and decent comes bubbling to the surface in our society. It's today's high-tech world the latest is something called "the Momo Challenge."
Here the way it works (supposedly): a creepy game called "the Momo Challenge" pops up up when your children are online, playing video games or watching kids' shows on YouTube. The game, represented by a creepy woman's face, tells kids to do self-destructive things, up to and including suicide.
Here's what you need to know about Momo: It doesn't exist. Much of the media (including regrettably, at least one of our local TV stations in the Bismarck metro) have bought into it. Yet, for all the hoopla, we have yet to find evidence of the threat.
Here's an excerpt from a report that aired on a CBS TV affiliate in Baltimore:
Momo uses a picture of a woman...and can target kids through Peppa Pig or Fortnite when parents aren't around.
This is ludicrous. Software can do some amazing stuff, but there has never been a program designed that can determine when parents are in the room.
There are legitimate things on the internet that your kids probably shouldn't see. And yes, there was a recent case of someone splicing suicide tips into kids' videos on YouTube (adults reported the vids and YouTube removed them).
Cases like these are isolated, and rarely, if ever, end tragically. And none of it has any connection to Momo.
Should you keep an eye on what your kids watch online? Yes, by all means. But don't buy into the hype.
[Sources: KXMB-TV, Reason.com, Snopes]