The Momo Challenge is the latest in a series of chain-letter viral stories. It’s arresting because of the disturbing image that represents the Momo character.
It sounds alarming, particularly as children are attracted to the idea, but in reality, the occurrences seem few and far between. Still, the image and the ghoulish story that accompanies it may well distress children and parents should be aware of its existence. Children may encounter the story in the playground, but also in YouTube videos and user-created content in video games like Minecraft and Roblox.
It has been in the news over the last couple of days that the more hype we are giving the story, the more it is fuelling the craze. Police have suggested that rather than focusing on the specific momo meme, parents could use the opportunity to
Our recommended advice as always, is to supervise the games your children play and be extremely mindful of the videos they are watching on YouTube. Ensure that the devices they have access to are restricted to age suitable content. , as well as having an open conversation about what children are accessing.
In Minecraft, you would only see the Momo Challenge Character if your child is using custom games, which are not available on the console version of the game. In Roblox, selecting the Restricted setting for your child’s accounts ensures they can only access games that have been checked for appropriateness.
On YouTube, select restricted mode so that children cannot access content flagged by the YouTube community as potentially sensitive.
The recommended advice from the NSPCC is to:
Take an interest in your child’s online activity
Do you take an interest in your child’s online activity?
Taking an interest helps you to understand the websites, apps and games children are using and to make sure they are appropriate.
Talk as a TEAM
Can you work with your child as a TEAM?
Talk – chat to your child about what they’re doing online.
Explore - and understand the websites, apps and games.
Agree – Devise and create family ground rules.
Manage – Adapt privacy settings and use adult controls.
Build children’s trust
Can you have regular open and honest conversations with your child? If things go wrong or mistakes happen, how will you support/reassure your child?
Use the technical tools
Do you use all parental controls available to you? Have you supported your child with their privacy settings? Have you thought about how spend-limits and time-settings can be used to control your child’s online experience?
If adults are concerned or have any questions on how to approach the subject with their children they can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website. Alternatively please visit the e-safety section of the Manorfield Primary School website or come in and speak to an adult in school.
We do not feel that drawing specific attention to this will be helpful, however we will continue to help your children learn safe online behaviours and will be readdressing in our ongoing PHSE programme, the principal of telling an adult if they are worried about anything seen online.
Thank you for helping us to keep your children safe when navigating the online world.