Sick suicide challenge Momo is being inserted into children’s YouTube shows such as Peppa Pig , a school has warned.

Parents think their child is safe watching a normal episode of their favourite programme – but a ‘Momo’ clip has been spliced into the YouTube clip.

The ‘Momo’ character – a scary doll’s face – interrupts the show and threatens the viewer into contacting a number on WhatsApp.

Some parents say their children has been told they will be “killed in their sleep” if they do not contact ‘Momo’.

Once the child has connected with ‘Momo’, the person behind the account can send what they like to the child on WhatsApp.

Users are told to harm themselves and even kill themselves and are threatened if they refuse to follow ‘orders’.

Momo has been linked to a number of deaths (Image: MEN Media)

 

The ‘challenge’ has recently made its way to the UK, having already been linked with the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina.

A French father filed a complaint with the State Department in November, after his son took his own life.

And the Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office reported in November 2018 that a 13-year-old boy had been the victim of the “Momo Challenge” and hanged himself.

Northcott Community Special School in Bransholme, Hull, told parents about the “disturbing” phenomenon disguised to “avoid detection by adults,” reports Hull Live .

In a tweet, the school said: “We are aware that some nasty challenges (Momo challenge) are hacking into children’s programmes.

“Challenges appear midway through Kids YouTube, Fortnite, Peppa Pig to avoid detection by adults.

“Please be vigilant with your child using IT, images are very disturbing.”

A school in Hull is warning parents to be vigilant (Image: Getty Images)

 

The ‘Momo’ character is symbolised by a haunting woman with grotesque features and bulging eyes.

The avatar was taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who is not associated with the game.

The doll entices children to contact her via social media, before sending them graphic images and ‘orders’.

In a recent letter to parents, St Bedes RC Primary School in Carlisle, Cumbria, also warning about the “distressing” game.

The school said: “Light-hearted and fun at the outset, this game experience quickly darkens, absorbing players who are encouraged to perform acts of violence and self-harm through a series of progressively risky challenges.”

It added: “The challenges issued in this game present a serious risk to the safety, welfare and well-being of children and young people in our schools here in the UK, as does the distressing content when a player refuses to carry on.

The Momo character was taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who is not associated with the game
The Momo character was taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who is not associated with the game (Image: CEN)
“With worrying similarities to the ‘Blue Whale challenge’, it has also been linked to at least five cases of childhood suicide.”The NSPCC says children should not feel pressured into doing anything that makes them feel unsafe.A spokesperson said: “Children can find it difficult to stand up to peer pressure but they must know it’s perfectly okay to refuse to take part in crazes that make them feel unsafe or scared.

“Parents should talk with their children and emphasise that they can make their own choices and discuss ways of how to say no.

“Reassuring a child that they can still be accepted even if they don’t go along with the crowd will help stop them doing something that could hurt them or make them uncomfortable.”

In Russia, the ‘challenge’ has been linked to at least 130 teen deaths.

But UK police believe it is actually being used by hackers to obtain social media users’ personal information.

Schools have warned that the "disturbing" game poses a risk to children
Schools have warned that the “disturbing” game poses a risk to children (Image: @natonlinesafety/Twitter)

Northern Ireland officers have said the creepy character “isn’t going to crawl out of your child’s phone and kill them”.

However, they acknowledged the game’s content is “horrendous”.

In a Facebook post, the PSNI in Craigavon said: “This freaky looking creature is ‘Momo’, the latest online app character behind headlines like “Suicide game hits UK”, getting people clicking like mad on articles to read more. Great for a short term shock effect, but not great long term as it somewhat misses the bigger issue.

 

“Even basic open source research suggests that ‘Momo’ is run by hackers who are looking for personal info. Whatever or whoever is behind it, there is no disputing the content being sent is horrendous. The set up can come from countless other apps- anything with a chat function.”

It added that “the danger lies with your child feeling pressured to either follow the orders of ANY app via ‘challenges’, or peer pressure in chat rooms and the like”.

 

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