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Authorities warn of ‘Momo’ suicide challenge spreading on Whatsapp messaging service

August 5, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Authorities warn of ‘Momo’ suicide challenge spreading on Whatsapp messaging service

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A sinister social media game called the ‘Momo’ challenge is spreading via the WhatsApp messaging platform owned by Facebook, and it encourages teens to engage in a suicide challenge.

Authorities in several countries say a WhatsApp profile of “Momo” — a disturbing character created by Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, sends chat messages targeting teens and young people along with disturbing photos to “users” who engage with the profile.

Anyone refusing to follow the “orders” by the ‘Momo’ account is threatened by releasing photos, videos or other personal information.

“Momo” has been compared to the sinister “Blue Whale challenge,” which is believed to be a social media group that encouraged people to harm themselves and even commit suicide, The Sun reports.

Police officials in Argentina are investigating a possible connection between “Momo” and the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in the district of Escobar.

“Don’t add ‘Momo’!” Spanish authorities warned in a recent tweet noting that the game has gone viral on WhatsApp.

Additionally, Mexican authorities say that “Momo” began in a Facebook group where people are encouraged to communicate with an unknown telephone number.

Computer Crime Investigators from the Mexican State of Tabasco warned in a tweet that the game is a “new challenge” aimed at children and young people, who are urged to “avoid talking with strangers.”

Fictional online characters stemming from urban legends, like “Slender Man” have also been used to allegedly pressured two 12-year-old girls to kill another in 2014.

Investigators are working to identify the administrator of the Momo account.

If anyone you know is harming themselves or attempting suicide, should immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

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