Momo is a big Nono


Catherine McIntosh, Reporter

Viral internet challenges can be a major blast when everyone is able to participate.  Popular ones like the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, the “Kiki Challenge”, or the “What the Fluff Challenge”, have everyone enticed and ready to play along. However, these challenges have the ability to be something dark and twisted. The Momo challenge is one of these. Starting out on Whatsapp, the Momo challenge has people, especially young teens, text a number associated to Momo. They are then coerced to complete acts, or “challenges”, that are considered as steps towards suicide. Failure to respond leads to threats towards family and friends of the participant and the participant themselves. For something so disturbing and hyped up in the media, are regular students even aware of it?

Senior Michael Moore has indeed heard about this challenge, saying, “I’ve heard of it but I’m not real positive on exactly what it is besides the picture of the weird lady” referring to the creepy sculpture that is the profile for Momo. The sculpture named “Mother Bird” was created by a Japanese special effects company called Link Factory. It is the cropped image of this art piece that is associated with Momo. Even Senior Simeon Goodenough recognizes Momo and everything behind it. He says something very similar to Moore when he is approached with the subject, stating,  “I have heard about the Momo Challenge. I personally have not done it before but I’d like to check it out it sounds pretty interesting,” he says with a shrug. Junior Shan Brar shows little interest on the subject when asked about it. “I’ve heard of it but I don’t really care. It has no impact on me”. However he does think it has the potential of being an actual threat.

Momo has been turned into an explosive meme that can be found all over social media. It is becoming known as more of a joke as time goes on but does this challenge pose a real threat to society at all? Brar says yes, stating, “It’ll affect the stupid people. Like all the kids that play Fortnite will fall for it,” he says laughing with his buddies. Goodenough also believes that kids are the ones at stake, “It can be a threat to kids if they don’t know what they are doing”. However, Moore doesn’t seem to agree. He says, “I really don’t see it as a threat. Like, people who take it seriously, I don’t have any advice for them. It’s just strange that you would put so much faith in something you know so little about. It only has as much validity as you give it,” he says shrugging.

The majority appear to believe it is a potential threat. Now the question is who is responsible for stopping it and keeping the children safe? Moore believes it is the parents obligation, “Monitor your kids Ipad time and their phone time. As a responsible parent that is your job, that’s your duty. So if society is doing something you don’t like then you’re liable. You’re a parent, that’s how it works”. Goodenough says that boundaries are key, stating, “Rules are always a good idea”. Brar’s not too sure but he does believe that, “…social media platforms are not responsible”. Seems like parents need to tighten their grip when it comes to their kids screen time.

A bored person with the right technology can do a lot of crazy stuff. It’s important to remember that there is no real power this Momo character has over you or anyone else. Keep you and your privacy safe when it comes to the internet and avoid this challenge at all costs.