Is the "Momo Challenge" real? Kim Kardashian warns parents against the dangerous "Momo Challenge" but YouTube sees no evidence


Editor's note: This article presents disturbing content and mentions of suicide.

As parents continue to worry about the potential dangers of the "Momo Challenge"Kim Kardashian warns her fans on Instagram and asks YouTube to solve the problem. The disturbing meme became viral this week for the second time after the British police received messages of concern from parents about videos found on their children's social media. "Momo" is a terrifying character who seems to invite children to adopt a dangerous behavior, even to hurt themselves, although the scope of the videos is not clear.

In two articles in his Instagram story, Kardashian asked YouTube to help eliminate the challenge of his platform. She shared a Facebook message from Amyre Shonny warning parents about Momo, as well as a thread being sent to her on videos posted on YouTube Kids, a kid-friendly app intended for kids to families. In both stories, Kardashian tagged YouTube for help and warned parents of potentially confusing content on the app. "Please watch what your kids are watching !!!" She wrote.

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Kim Kardashian / Instagram

Despite the information provided by parents on social networks, YouTube says that they have not found the disturbing clips on their platform. "We want to clarify something about the Momo Challenge: we have not seen any recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube," YouTube tweeted. "Videos encouraging harmful and dangerous challenges are against our policies."

In other tweehe adds, "if you see videos with harmful or harmful challenges on YouTube, we encourage you to report them to us immediately."

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YouTube / Instagram

YouTube also responded directly to Kardashian on Instagram on Wednesday. "We take this information seriously," wrote YouTube. "We take care of it." The story is linked to a response from a Google employee, owner of YouTube. "After much criticism, we have not seen any recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube," Julia wrote of TeamYouTube. "Encouraging videos harmful and dangerous challenges are clearly against our policies, the Momo Challenge included. "

In this message, the company also stated that, even if the videos of the current challenge are prohibited, YouTubers are allowed to "chat, report or educate people about the Momo challenge / character on YouTube". He specifies that the character's own images are allowed on YouTube, but not on YouTube Kids.

On Thursday, YouTube also shared updates related to the safety of minors, including disabling comments on videos featuring minors, launching a new comment classifier, and acting on creators causing considerable harm to the community.

The "Momo Challenge" gained international recognition last summer and was originally considered a hoax, which apparently disappeared shortly after its viral transformation. But even though it may have started as a hoax, Internet trolls have understood the fear they have instilled in children and parents.

"The Momo challenge" incites the girl's dangerous behavior, says Mom

This week, parents across the UK reported to have found the game on WhatsApp and hidden in animated videos for children on social networks. "WhatsApp is deeply concerned about the security of its users," WhatsApp spokesman told CBS News on Tuesday. "It's easy to block any phone number and we encourage users to report problematic messages so we can take action."

When children participate in the challenge, they would allegedly contact "Momo", who uses a scary image and communicates primarily through WhatsApp. Momo encourages a participant to perform a variety of tasks if they want to avoid being "cursed", some of which include self-harm. The challenge is supposed to end when Momo tells the participant to commit suicide and to register for social media.

Despite claims by YouTube and WhatsApp that there is no evidence of real challenges for Momo on these apps, parents around the world reported that their children were expressing fear of Momo. Pearl Woods told CBS Sacramento that her 12-year-old autistic daughter had started behave in dangerous ways like turning on the gas stove after meeting a Momo video. "Just another minute, she could have blown up my apartment, she could have hurt herself, to other people, beyond the scary," Woods said. A mother from Florida also shared video proof of similar disturbing messages that she found hidden in animations on YouTube Kids.

The original image of "Momo" is actually a sculpture called "Mother Bird" by Japanese artist Keisuke Aisawa, exhibited in 2016 at the Vanilla Gallery in Tokyo. There is no evidence that Aisawa Corporation, Link Factory, participated in the creation or execution of the Momo Challenge. Link Factory did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment.

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