A few months after the disturbing game began to appear in WhatsApp discussions around the world, the so-called Momo Challenge was reportedly introduced into YouTube children's videos.
However, YouTube says it has "received no recent evidence" of these videos.
The challenge is linked to the troubling image of a grotesquely-hued woman torn from the work of the Japanese doll Midori Hayashi, which has raised concerns that we may be witnessing the rise of another phenomenon. of the "blue whale".
It seems to follow roughly the same scenario each time: first, users are invited to contact "Momo" by sending messages to an unknown number. They are then chased with scary images and violent messages.
Despite growing warnings, however, the concrete examples of the Momo Challenge have remained elusive.
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Parents and authorities are worried about the rise of another "blue whale" phenomenon in a troubling new game on social media. Users are invited to contact "Momo" by sending messages to an unknown number
YouTube responded to reports today after being silent on the subject.
"Contrary to news reports, we have not received any recent evidence of videos showing or promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube," a YouTube spokesperson told DailyDot on Wednesday.
"Content of this type would violate our policies and be immediately removed."
Nevertheless, authorities and schools have warned parents via social media to be on the lookout for references to the disturbing challenge.
This week, in a scary Facebook post, a worried mother explained in detail to her six-year-old daughter how she was targeted by the Momo Challenge while watching a video of Peppa Pig on YouTube Kids.
Bre-Andria Roussell, 6, described Momo as "an app, and you can call him and send him an SMS".
She also added, "She could be in your dreams or she could kill you."
Another horrible story told by a children's hair salon in Gloucestershire claimed that the challenge had prompted a five-year-old girl to cut her hair.
The so-called Momo Challenge would have made its way into children's videos such as Peppa Pig on YouTube. Photo file
And on Facebook this week, Haslingden Elementary School in Rossendale, UK, said it has become "more and more aware of the very inappropriate videos that are circulating online and are being watched by school kids." Including the Momo Challenge.
"These video clips appear on many social media sites and on YouTube (including Kids YouTube)," the school said in its release.
"One of the videos begins innocently, like the beginning of an episode of Peppa Pig, for example, but quickly turns into an altered version with violence and offensive language.
"Another video clip is called" MoMo ". It shows a distorted white mask that encourages children to perform dangerous tasks without telling their parents.
"We noticed at school, for example, asking children to turn on the gas or to find and take pills."
National Online Safety noted in a tweet that it had received reports from "hundreds of schools and concerned parents" about the "terrible" Momo challenge.
The viral game is linked to the disturbing image of a woman with grotesque traits, ripped from the work of Japanese doll artist Midori Hayashi.
According to the Buenos Aires Times, Momo was examined for the first time this summer last summer, because of its possible connection with the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina.
The tragedy has caused many people to draw parallels with the Blue Whale challenge linked to dozens of suicides in Russia in 2017.
According to the BBC, the motives behind the game are unclear, but authorities have warned that anonymous shippers could use it to steal information or encourage violence and suicide.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE CHALLENGE "BLUE WHALE"?
A disgusting challenge for social media appeared in 2017 after being linked to hundreds of teen suicides in Russia.
Nicknamed the "Blue Whale Challenge," he encouraged participants to take part in a series of harmful tasks, such as cutting themselves, for 50 days.
Russian media reported that the challenge prompted teenagers to use a knife or razor to draw the shape of a whale on the wrist or leg.
An example of this has been shared in a disturbing picture published by the Siberian Times.
The game also encourages teens to watch horror movies all day long and to wake up at 4:20 am, before committing suicide on the last day.
Victims of the game have often shared images of a blue whale on social media.
Last year, it was revealed that Nikita Nearonov, aged 22, was under investigation as a potential brain for the Blue Whale challenge.
The officers believe that Nearonov was a "major and dangerous" author of the "game" on social networks, while he claimed to have killed ten minor "minors", operating mainly from his home near Moscow.
Nearonov did not confess and insists that he was just "friendly".
The grim challenge has been reported in several countries around the world, including Argentina, Mexico, the United States, France and Germany, although it initially appeared to be the most popular in Latin America.
According to the BBC, no one knows exactly where Momo comes from or who is behind this disturbing trend, although it is linked to at least seven phone numbers starting with codes from Japan and several countries of the world. 39 Latin America this summer.
"It all started in a Facebook group where participants were challenged to start communicating with an unknown number," wrote the State Computer Crime Investigation Unit in Tabasco State, Mexico, in August.
"Several users said that if they sent a message to Momo on their mobile phone, violent and aggressive images were delivered to him, and some said their messages had been threatened."
The images used to represent the game were extracted from the Instagram account of a Japanese artist, who is not associated with the challenge.
WhatsApp users are urged not to contact unknown numbers or engage in chained messages.
"Urban legends have always existed, and with the Internet, that has not changed," online security specialist Rodrigo Nejm told the BBC in August.
"The criminals take the opportunity to ride this wave."
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