Whatsapp Momo Game Challenge - CBSE Circulates Advisory To Schools
Created by Anubhav Srivastava Updated on Sep 29, 2018
The WhatsApp Momo game challenge has now alarmed education boards and school administrations. The Central Board Of Secondary Education (CBSE) has circulated an advisory to school administrations. The advisory was crafted by the Cyber Laws & e-Security Group of the Ministry of Electronics & IT, in August 2018 and now schools have started receiving it. School Administrations have been seen sharing the advisory with Parents. [Tiktok Sensation - Dangerous Skull Breaker Challenge Viral on Tiktokl]
Advisory on Momo Challenge Game
It is reported in the media that there is a new online challenge game called “The Momo Challenge” which started on Facebook where members are “challenged” to Communicate with unknown numbers. It went viral on social media platforms, especially WhatsApp.
The Momo Challenge consists of a variety of self-harming dares which becomes increasingly risky as the game progresses and it finally ends with a suicide challenge. The game involves challenges that encourage teenagers/ children / any other user to engage in a series of violent acts as challenges of the game.
The game inspires teenagers/ children / any other user (the player), to add unknown contacts on WhatsApp by the name of ‘Momo’. Once the contact is added, the image of the terrifying Japanese ‘Momo’ doll with bulging eyes appears in contact. The game controller than entices player to perform a series of challenges and playing the game are threatened with violent images, audios or videos, if player do not follow instructions.
Look out for following Signs and Symptoms :
- Becoming withdrawn from friends and family
- Persistent low mood and unhappiness
- Looking worried that stops him/her from carrying out day to day tasks
- Sudden outbursts of anger directed at themselves or others
- Loss of interest in activities that they used to enjoy
- Visible marks like deep cuts or wounds on any part of the body of the child.
How to protect your child from this game:
- Check with your child, ask how things are going. Ask if there have been things stressing them, or anything that has them worried. If your child is talking about any level of distress, do not hesitate to ask them about changes in mental health.
- Unless there is reason to believe your child already knows of or has played the game, don't discuss the Blue Whale game. By doing so, you increase the chance that your child will search for it on their own.
- Monitor your children's online & social media activity to ensure they are not engaging with this game.
- Keep your eyes open for:
a) Unusually secretive behavior, mostly related to their online activity
b) A sudden increase in the time they spend online, especially social media
c) They seem to change screens on their device when approached
d) They become withdrawn or angry, after using the internet or sending text messages
f) Their device suddenly has many new phone numbers and email contact
- Install a good cyber/mobile parenting software which helps them in monitoring your children. 6. Parents should take reports from child counselor present in the school at regular intervals.
- If you fear your child may be at risk, get professional help right away.
- Remind your child that you are there and will support them as they face life challenges.
**End of the Advisory
WhatsApp Momo game hit Bengal in September 2018
According to reports, after two individuals committing suicide having received invitations to join the Momo Whatsapp challenge in North Bengal, the state government has started taking steps to combat the so-called WhatsApp momo game. Apart from sending directives to the police stations in the districts, the administration has also requested schools to keep a close eye on the behavioral pattern of students, told an official to Press Trust of India.
"It (Momo challenge) is growing everyday. After the Blue Whale challenge, now we are facing this killer Momo Game Challenge. Links of this 'game' is getting circulated mostly through WhatsApp. We have alerted officials in the district to keep a tab on this matter," he added.
Earlier in August, the Whatsapp Momo game is claimed to have taken lives of two more -- Manish Sarki (18) on August 20 and Aditi Goyal (26) the next day at Kurseong in Darjeeling district. Police suspect that the two were into playing this suicidal game that led both of them to take the step.
The game Momo Whatsapp Challenge is spreading via Whatsapp. It's claimed to be as deadly as the Blue Whale challenge that claimed the lives of many teenagers across the globe last year. In this blog, we tell you how to keep your child away from it WhatsApp Momo.
Online Games Facts & Figures
The disturbing new online game targets young children over WhatsApp. In the game, targets are given by a controller over WhatsApp messenger and the child is supposed to follow it to the tee. Parents are been warned that the 'Momo WhatsApp challenge' game could be the next Blue Whale – a vile and dangerous social media game in India in last 2017 which claimed the lives of more than 130 children across the globe.
Like the Blue Whale Game, Momo WhatsApp suicide game (In Hindi) also give life threatening challenges to children such as shooting your own suicide video, watching horror movies alone and waking up at unusual hours. In one of the recent cases in Argentina, a 12 year old committed suicide in the town of Ingeniero Maschwitz near Buenos Aires. This incident is allegedly linked to the WhatsApp .
How to Safeguard Your Child from Suicidal Momo WhatsApp
Children are deceived easily due to the lack of composure and experience at their age, which is quite natural and hence, they are quite vulnerable. As parents, we should keep a vigil and constant eye on our children and let them cope up with such challenges early on. Here are a few precautionary tips to safeguard our child from such online games.
- Try and speak to your child about these games and let them know why these games are unworthy to even indulge into. Talk to them positively about life and keep them positive at all times.
- Keep a close eye on the gadgets and especially over messaging apps. Since these games are unable to launch apps, websites because of security reasons, they execute over messaging apps that are free and have easy access to children.
- Try and delete numbers which are unknown and seems fishy.
- Do not be part of any group where you are not known to Admin or the purpose of the group seems shady.
- Explore privacy settings on WhatsApp to restrict from showing your number and details to others who are not added in your phone-book
- Involve yourself with the child in daily routines. Children who remain glued to gadgets are more prone to get along with such deadly games. Hence try to restrict the gadgets and be attentive if your child is spending unusual time on messaging or other apps.
Also Read: Bipolar Disorder In Your Child : Signs, Causes & Cure
- Apart from gadgets your child’s social media accounts could also be a medium of such games. For instance, facebook messenger and other messengers can also be used as potential access medium to target your children. Try and ensure that your child is chatting to people known to you and any unknown contacts are traced to rule out any such possibilities
What do Cyber Experts Say About Whatsapp Momo?
Rather, on the contrary, many reports on the internet mention quotes from cyber experts and they claim it to be merely a hoax being spread via social media. They claim that there is no such game. For instance, Cyber Expert Ritesh Bhatia reportedly experimented to find out if the Momo challenge is real and it turned out that the numbers are inactive.
Whatever the truth behind this social media menace is, we advise parents to keep a tab on what your child is up to. Proactive parents always let their children use smartphones and other gadgets in a controlled environment!
Please support and share this blog with your fellow parents and friends. It could save lives!