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'Momo' follows 'Blue Whale's' footsteps, spreads fear, encourages suicide


Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru

Mangaluru, Aug 6: After the suicidal ‘Blue Whale’ challenge claimed many lives, a new challenge named ‘Momo’ is terrorizing users on online platforms, and is believed to have led to the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina.

Currently popular in Latin America, it is reported that users are partaking in Momo challenge in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, United States, France and Germany.

The disturbing challenge which targets teens requires them to contact ‘Momo’ by sending messages to an unknown number. After that, they are sent frightening images and violent messages.

The investigating authorities, who are yet to arrive at the real motivations behind the challenge, are currently drawing parallels with the Blue Whale.

The origin of Momo has not yet been traced. However, the phone numbers to contact Momo have country codes of Japan and multiple countries across Latin America.

It is believed that the challenge started after participants of a Facebook group were asked to communicate with an unknown number. When some users contacted the number, they received violent and aggressive images and threats on their Whatsapp.

A 12-year-old from Argentina is believed to have taken her life being influenced by the challenge. The girl filmed her activities prior to hanging herself from a tree in her family’s backyard, according to the Buenos Aires Times. Authorities suspect that someone encouraged her to commit suicide, the report says.

The momo challenge uses a disturbing image of a woman with grotesque features, which is the work of Japanese doll artist Midori Hayashi. The image was taken from the Instagram of the Japanese artist, who is not associated with the challenge.

Law enforcement agencies across the world have issued warnings asking WhatsApp users to not contact unknown numbers or engage in chain messages. The anonymous senders could be using it to steal information or encourage violence and suicide, they have warned.


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