I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of the image below, of the creepy character named Momo, who is apparently instructing children to kill themselves in YouTube videos, and on various apps.
When you look at “Momo”, it’s easy to see why people might immediately become worried about the kind of influence she might have on their children, and what she might cause them to do.
However, the real villains behind this mask are internet users, who are using this as an opportunity to spread needless panic – which includes innocent folk who have been pulled along in the resulting chaos. We’ll explain how.
Momo, the Latest Twisted Internet Hoax
The Origin of Momo
The now famous image of Momo isn’t what you might expect. Her real name is Mother Bird, and she is a harpy sculpture that was created by a Japanese company called Link Factory, and she was showcased in 2016 at a Tokyo fetish museum.
She first made an appearance on an Instagram account, also in 2016, that was also based in Japan. The hoax surrounding “Momo” actually made rounds back in 2018, but quickly fizzed out, only to resurface again over this past week.
Rumors With No Basis
You’ve also most likely heard the rumors of children who supposedly committed suicide as a result of this hoax – usually as a result of interacting with “Momo” via WhatsApp, but reports have indicated that most of these stories aren’t actually true.
It has been found that it isn’t Momo herself isn’t the biggest issue – it is the viral nature of internet challenges that result in unnecessary panic, that results in even more exposure. People jump to conclusions without bothering to fact check.
If you’re worried about your own child succumbing to similar, the best thing you can do is sit down and talk to them about internet safety, and to monitor what they have access to online.