Today, we break down a new, creepy online sensation that has captured the imagination of the Internet: The ‘Momo Challenge’.
WHAT the hell is a ‘Momo’?
In a 10 minute clip, the YouTuber shows a photo of a freaky woman/bird hybrid on his phone. He tries to contact this otherworldly ‘being’ thru texts and a call, but nothing really happens.
Altho the vid itself is lackluster, it was enough to capture the imagination of the Internet, as it racked up over 5.5 million views and inspired various copycats on YouTube.
HOW did it spread?
The monster supposedly threatens the viewer (who are mostly children) to follow certain tasks, which ultimately culminates in the victims committing suicide or self-harm.
However, authorities reportedly never found a link between the deaths and the Momo challenge, leading it to be declared a hoax. Its popularity soon declined.
This 2019, ‘Momo’ resurfaced again, apparently riding on the coattails of YouTube’s recent child exploitation scandals.
This time, the ‘challenge’ has a slightly different backstory. ‘Momo’ is now allegedly lurking within unassuming vids of the popular kids’ show, Peppa Pig, instructing children to, again, commit suicide and self-harm.
*I'm a parent but these aren't any of my kids* GET YOUR KIDS OFF YOUTUBE!! This nasty thing "MOMO" comes up mostly…
SHOULD you be concerned?
I think it goes without saying that everyone, not only kids, should be responsible for whatever they consume online. There are tons of scammers and trolls out there who would undoubtedly exploit this trend.
That being said, it’s hard to attribute ‘Momo’ as anything but an urban legend.
For a thing that claims to be so widespread, it’s actually pretty hard to gather any evidence of the infamous vid’s actual existence. Authorities and even YouTube have failed to come up with anything.
We want to clear something up regarding the Momo Challenge: We’ve seen no recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube. Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies.
— YouTube (@YouTube) February 27, 2019
YouTuber Philip DeFranco also gave a solid breakdown on why ‘Momo’ is likely just a hoax.
And as for the infamous ‘Momo’ creature itself?
Turns out, it’s just a sculpture by Japanese artist Keisuke Aisawa who works for a special effects company called ‘Link Factory’.
The creation was displayed at the Gen Gallery in Tokyo’s Ginza district way back in 2016. It is assumed to be inspired by the ‘Ubume’, a supernatural entity created from women who died during childbirth.