PNP weighs in on deadly viral app

posted March 02, 2019 at 01:20 am
by  PNA
The Philippine National Police on Friday joined other government agencies in urging parents to monitor their children’s online activities.

Brig. Gen. Marni Marcos Jr. made the reminder after the “Momo Challenge” and other online challenges went viral on social media and reportedly driving some youth to suicide.

“While we have yet to determine where the ‘Momo Challenge’ originated, we encourage the public and law enforcement authorities to spread awareness of this suicide game,” Marcos said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Department of Information and Communications Technology is urging parents to play an active role in safeguarding their children against the “Momo Challenge.” 

News of the death of an 11-year-old child was allegedly linked to the “Momo Challenge,” where children are reportedly tricked to follow a step-by-step instruction to get involved in unsafe dares, which eventually lead them to harm themselves.

Marcos advised people to report any untoward incident involving the “Momo Challenge” to the ACG through hotline 414-1560 or by visiting the nearest Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit or any police station.

The “Momo Challenge” first made headlines in July 2018 when it was noticed by a known YouTube user. Later, a 12-year-old Argentine girl died after she was allegedly persuaded to take her own life by a grotesque-looking female figure through the mobile messaging application “WhatsApp.”

However, authorities have yet to find a link between the trending “suicide game” and the unlikely death of the victim, the same with the reported cases of “Momo Challenge” casualties in Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Europe.

The face of the “Momo Challenge” was found to be a sculpture created by Link Factory, a Japanese special effects company. Reports say that unscrupulous people behind the “Momo Challenge” only used the cropped image of the “Mother Bird” (the real name of the artwork) due to its disturbingly bizarre appearance.

Web security experts also claimed that the “Momo Challenge” was likely a case of “moral panic” and was being sensationalized through media reports and social media stories.

It was even being compared to the popular “Blue Whale Challenge,” a “game” reportedly consisting of a series of tasks that are initially harmless before introducing elements of self-harm and requiring the player to commit suicide at the final challenge, as well as the “Bloody Mary Challenge”, wherein children would scare themselves by saying “Bloody Mary” three times in front of a mirror.  With Darwin G. Amojelar

READ: ‘Momo’ Challenge goes viral: Beware!

Topics: Philippine National Police , Momo Challenge , Marni Marcos Jr , Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit
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