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North-east parents told not to panic over Momo Challenge

North-east parents told not to panic over Momo Challenge

The guide from National Online Safety also encouraged parents to reassure their children that "Momo" is not a real person and can not harm them, and speak regularly about their online activity.

The internet-based challenge uses a scary doll-like image, which originates from a sculpture in a Tokyo gallery that has nothing to do with the game, to encourage users to take part in unsafe or violent challenges. "We've told him it's a load of rubbish and there are bad people out there who do bad things but it's frightening - really frightening". The sick craze has led one school to organised a workshop about online safety for parents.

At Halfway Houses Primary School on the Isle of Sheppey, staff were also intending to speak to pupils in today's assembly.

"We care about the safety of our community and want to provide assistance for people in distress. So that makes it plausible to parents and school administrators".

The police force also suggested the threat posed Momo game could be overblown and might be a way for hackers to exploit users.

"That's why it's important for parents to talk regularly with their children about these apps and games and the potential risks they can be exposed to", the spokesperson said.

GARDAI are urging parents across Ireland to keep a close eye on their children's social media activity.

"Don't focus only on Momo, but make sure you know what your child has online access to. We encourage you to be vigilant when your child is using any device or watching any clips".

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Social media apps have a history of safety issues, especially regarding children. It is believed to either be created as a scam to extract personal information or as an urban legend type hoax, and is based on a meme of a sculpture. Like with anything to do with keeping children safe and making them aware of exploitation in all forms, the messages have to be quite factual, which is why we have included online guidance.

Once the child has connected, the shadowy figures behind the "Momo" account can send what they like to the child on WhatsApp.

"As you can imagine, this is highly distressing for the children to view".

With reports like that, parents are concerned.

Lyn says her son, eight, has become frightened of the dark and of being alone, after images of the creepy Momo avatar popped up on YouTube when he was watching videos.

Police forces in Northern Ireland have also issued advice in reference to the Momo challenge, shared by other policing authorities in the United Kingdom.

A YouTube spokesperson has since addressed the deadly trend, writing, "Our Community Guidelines prohibit harmful and unsafe challenges, including promoting the Momo challenge, and we remove this content quickly when flagged to us". The character has even reportedly cropped up on YouTube Kids, as well as WhatsApp and Fortnite streams. Normally she would watch it through her phone or Xbox. But with Kardashian using her platform to get the word out, there are at least a few more parents taking precaution.

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