With social media being the center of attention in today’s society teenagers are now exposed to dangerous dares posted online. When teens don’t have the proper knowledge on how to use internet, they could end up in dangerous situations.
One of these dangerous situations is the Momo Challenge. The Momo Challenge started off on Whatsapp, a messenger app for mobile devices where you can send messages, videos, images, and audio using the internet. The game makes its victims go through various challenges that gets more difficult as you advance. You may ask what’s so wrong about that? Nothing, until you get to the last level and are told to commit suicide.
The game got its name because Momo is a popular account on whatsapp, which uses a scary image of a doll with large eyes, know as Momo or “Mother Bird”. The Japanese artist behind “Mother Bird” is Midori Hayashi, who has no association to the game in any way.
The challenge seems like the plot of the movie Nerve. Without knowing the consequences teens participate in dares that some random person sends them. If they don’t complete the dares the mysterious person starts to harass and threaten the teen. That’s what the Momo Challenge is about.
Sound familiar? In 2015 the Blue Whale Challenge surfaced in Russia and allegedly claimed the lives of some teens. That challenge lasted 50 days and would start off easy, but got progressively harder as the user advanced. The creator would give the players tasks everyday to accomplish and required them to submit a picture as evidence to show that they complete each task. If the teens did not submit evidence, the creator would threaten the teens with his/her personal information because the app had hacked their phone.
As scary as all this sounds, there are ways to protect yourself. Step one: change your privacy settings on your online accounts, so only you and your family and friends can see your profile. Step two: don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Step three: avoid accepting any invitations to play from an unknown number and avoid clicking on any unidentified links. Step four: change your passwords frequently, both for email as well as social media sites. Lastly, if you happen to get an invite from an unknown number directly on your mobile, block that number right away.