The so-called "Momo suicide challenge" is back in the spotlight, although it is widely referred to as an elaborate hoax.
"Momo" caught the attention of the world last year after allegedly began to spread on WhatsApp. Players were urged to self-harm and even commit suicide, prompting police warnings. However, the game has since been considered a "legend".
The challenge came to the news this week after parents in the UK claimed to find the strange character on WhatsApp and hidden in animated videos on social media, CBS News reported.
THE RETURN OF THE "MOMO SUICIDE CHALLENGE" SPEAKS TO PARENTS
In a statement to CBS News, Facebook's Facebook messaging application confirmed that it was aware of recent reports and was very concerned about the safety of people. [its] users. "
"It's easy to block any phone number and we encourage users to report problems to us so we can take action," said a WhatsApp spokesperson. WhatsApp did not immediately resubmit Fox News's request for an additional comment on Friday morning.
The parents were urged not to panic about the reappearance of the Momo viral phenomenon while remaining vigilant about the many dangers their children might encounter online.
SINISTER & # 39; MOMO SUICIDE CHALLENGE & # 39; WILL THERE THEN POWERS AS IT MOVES ON WHATSAPP
"Even though we think there is no solid evidence of the existence of MOMO videos, stay informed," tweeted Thursday the police department of the Austin Independent School District. "Other people can perpetuate this fear via social media, bullying, etc. Watch your child's online activity, but #dontletfearwin."
For its part, Police Scotland assured parents Wednesday that the "Momo Challenge" should not be a source of concern, but they should nonetheless warn their children of the dangers of online challenges.
The police department of Spring Hope, North Carolina, said it had been informed of the "Momo Challenge" by Spring Hope Elementary School on Wednesday.
"Although the police department does not know if the challenge is real or whether it is a hoax, it is important to educate parents about the potential danger of the report and of" the report ". encourage them to monitor their children's social media and internet activities, "police said in a Facebook post.
In a statement released on Thursday, YouTube said it did not find videos promoting the challenge on its platform.
"After much criticism, we have not seen any recent evidence of videos promoting the Momo Challenge on YouTube, and videos promoting harmful and dangerous challenges clearly defeat our policies, including Momo challenge, "said the video sharing giant. "Despite press reports of this challenge, we have never had any recent links reported or shared with us since YouTube that violate our community rules."
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The scary image "Momo" was extracted from an Instagram account containing the doll-shaped sculpture originally created by a Japanese artist. There is no evidence to link the artist or his company to the "Momo Challenge," reports CBS.
Frank Miles, Nicole Darrah and Fox News Associated Press contributed to this report.