There has been a lot of hype recently concerning the MOMO Challenge and, as a precaution, Walton County School District has restricted access to YouTube for all students “until further notice.” In making the announcement, however, officials with WCSD noted that YouTube has found no evidence of videos promoting the Challenge.
Wikipedia describes the Momo Challenge as “a hoax about a non-existent Internet challenge that was spread by users on Facebook and media outlets.” It has, however, spread fear amongst parents. After making the global news cycle with warnings, the reports are now more tempered, urging people to always be aware of what your children are watching on social media, but not to panic about this particular hoax.
According to Wikipedia, the Momo Challenge was reported as being a user that was enticing children and adolescents to perform a series of dangerous tasks including violent attacks and suicide. The Momo meme is a chicken like character figure with an unsightly bug-eyed more human life face, but Wikipedia also notes that despite claims that the phenomenon had reached worldwide proportion in July 2018, claims were relatively small and no police force has any confirmation of anyone being harmed as a direct result of it. Last month, a police department in Northern Island posted a public warning of Facebook and that appears to have reignited the awareness.
Local police authorities, however, have not heard any complaints from local residents of children being targeted. The founder of fact-checking site Snopes, noted that the whole thing, “may primarily be a product of bullies and pranksters latching onto a handy mechanism to goad and torment vulnerable youngsters rather than an intrinsic part of a particular social media challenge.”