Police and tech giants are warning consumers of the latest trend to hit social media, known as the "MOMO Suicide Challenge".
Yes, you heard that right. The challenge encourages self-harm and suicide in users, especially teens. The "game" is said to have originated in Facebook and has now crossed over into WhatsApp. Those who choose to participate in the game communicate with unknown others in the app.
The unknown user then calls and messages the player harassing them and demanding they harm themselves or end their lives.
Inside Edition shared the above video about the sinister game. In the video, they speak to YouTube vlogger, Shane Andrews, who took part in the challenge to see what it was all about.
Speaking to Inside Edition, Andrews shared that this is what he discovered while playing the game.
"I was met with some very violent images and text messages that I cannot show. The messages were scary. They said that they knew personal things about me which they couldn’t possibly know. They want you to do small tasks, like wake up at odd hours, overcome a fear, then it escalates quickly … [to challenges] like jumping off a house and ending your life. You’re supposed to document these things [on] video."
So far, there has been one possible suicide from the challenge. A 12-year old girl from Argentina who reportedly filmed herself prior to her death.
The WhatsApp did speak out about the dangers of "MOMO" and asks anyone approached about it to not only block the user, but to report the messages so they can take proper action.
The rates of self-harm and suicide are already too high in our world, the last thing we need is a dumb internet challenge escalating it. The Inside Edition video shares the important suicide hotline number at the bottom of the video. (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255). Please, please, please reach out for help if you or someone you know may be considering self-harm.
If you're curious to know more about this "Momo Suicide Challenge", we have provided Shane Andrews full video explaining it below.
Sources: Inside Edition, Shane Andrews