Stay away from MomoChallenge, says ITA

Muscat: The Information Technology Authority (ITA) of Oman has warned of a  new challenge called #MomoChallenge that has appeared recently in the social networks. It starts by sending mysterious messages victims & asking them to do dangerous tasks that may lead to suicide. “You are advised not to involve in such challenges,” the statement said.

Background

Social media has certainly given rise to a number of ‘challenges’ that has been affecting a large number of unrelated people. While few challenges could be harmless, most of them are highly dangerous. Not even a year has passed since the Blue Whale challenge subsided, a new challenge has been spreading in the internet, encouraging suicides amongst teenagers.

A 12-year-old girl from Argentina recently died after participating in a terrifying challenge called the momo challenge. The girl reportedly received messages from an unknown individual named ‘Momo’. The girl recorded a video saying that she committed suicide because of Momo.

Momo has a display picture of a creepy, thin woman with bulging eyes. Its account and number has been circulating through Whatsapp, Facebook and YouTube.

The challenge begins as the participant receives a text from Momo. Momo reportedly sends disturbing and violent images and threatens the recipient if they refuse to participate. Throughout the challenge, Momo encourages the recipient to perform cruel acts and commit suicide. The unknown number calls and uncomfortable noises are heard, as though someone is crying in pain.

This is very similar to the Blue Whale Challenge, which involved the participant to perform 50 tasks for 50 days, with the last task being suicide.

The image of a creepy woman was originally shared on Reddit. It is a sculpture named ‘Mother Bird’, created by Midori Hayashi, and it is on display at the Tokyo Vanilla Gallery, Japan. The artist is not associated with the challenge.

Currently, it has been reported that the challenge is viral in Japan, Colombia and Mexico. With the targets being teenagers between 13 and 19 with self-esteem issues, there are many social media alerts that are warning parents to look out for odd behaviour in their children.