Parents urged to keep kids off deadly Momo challenge, Blue Whale challenge
MANILA, Philippines – Members of a parents’ association are urging fellow parents and guardians to be extremely vigilant and closely monitor their children’s internet and online activities amid the reported circulation of two games or ‘challenges’ aimed at causing harm – and even death – to mostly young players.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Letran Elementary Department Parents’ Association noted that two online challenges – “Momo Challenge” and “Blue Whale Challenge” are circulating online to “target kids to do harm to others and to oneself.”
“Parents are urged to be vigilant when children watch video clips online because the challenge is sneakily inserted into children’s Youtube shows like Peppa Pig and the game Fortnite,” the statement read.
“Always monitor and talk to your children on what they are doing while surfing the net, using social media, who they are chatting with, what topics they are chatting about, and most specially doing online challenges,” it added.
The parents’ association issued the reminder after it was reported that an 11-year-old boy committed suicide inside a school in Quezon City.
The group said that the child was rushed to hospital and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit but eventually expired.
“Before his death, he uttered the words ‘I will follow my master…I will kill them all,” the statement said.
“Later the parent confirmed that the [child] was into the [Momo] Challenge and the Blue Whale Challenge which he learned from one of his classmates,” it added.
The association explained that in one of the two challenges, a character named “Momo” is considered the “Master” who allegedly instructs its victims to harm someone and then themselves.
The character would supposedly curse at the viewer and repeatedly tell them “that their love[d] ones will die” if they would refuse the task assigned to them.
The association further noted that the said challenge has been showing “altered versions of children’s games and TV show clips on the popular platform Youtube and Youtube for Kids.”
Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde earlier called on parents to carefully watch over their children’s internet use, a report by Radyo INQUIRER said.
“Sa ating mga magulang, kailangan po siguro bantayan natin ang ating mga anak rito. Siguro ang kailangan dito is ‘yung talagang magabayan ang mga anak lalo na kapag sila ay wala sa atin, nandun sa mga schools,” the report quoted Albayalde as saying.
(To parents, let us keep an eye on our children. We really need to guide them especially when they are in schools.)
The PNP chief also said it has instructed the Anti-Cybercrime Group to investigate on the matter. / gsg