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The MoMo Challenge & Online Safety

So, over the last two weeks, you will have seen a lot about ‘The MoMo Challenge’ & last years ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ on social media and in the news. 

Well, here’s the jargon-free version for parents and guardians. 

In it’s essence, it is a social media harvesting tool and a craze, but unfortunately, it is one that is sweeping the world, and encouraging self-harm amoungst users.  So here is a breakdown from our Web Designer.

MoMo isn’t new, it’s been around for about two years, and before this, it was called ‘The Blue Whale Challenge’.  It started off in the Middle East, and has spread across to Europe and now into Ireland.

In it’s simplest form, it is a social media harvesting tool.  For anyone unaware of what that is, Social Media Harvesting tools, do as they say – they aggregate information provided by users and leverage it to target users with ads, hack accounts, sell information you aren’t aware you have provided and now, encourage them to complete dares.  The most noted Social Media Harvesting controversy of 2018 was Cambridge Analytica.  Most social media platforms, particulary Facebook use ‘games’ to harvest information on users.

MoMo targets vunerable users to do stuff they normally wouldn’t dream of.  It targets users fears, and leverages participants to carryout tasks.  Those tasks vary.

The platform that has seen the most reports are What’s App and Viber, with social media platforms following suit.

Here’s the basics of how it works:-

  • Participants are part of platforms such as What’s App, Facebook Messenger, Viber, MineCraft, SecondLife etc.
  • User is contacted, invited or added by a user called MoMo.
  • User may be asked by others to ‘add MoMo’.
  • MoMo preys on primal fears as they learn about the participant, and the participant gives this information willingly, they use the curiousity of participants to entice them.
  • Challenges are posed.
    To start with, they are simple things, but as the challenges grow more dangerous, and participants will be asked to provide proof of completion ie videos/photos.

Steps to counteract MoMo:-

  • Know what your children are linked to online i.e. what platforms they use.
  • Explain to them the importance of Internet Safety.
  • Reitterate the importance of not accepting messsages from strangers.
  • Know the passwords for you child’s digital device(s) and check them!
  • For laptops, and other digital devices – consider installing this software – click here
  • For children who like to ‘Google it’, use Kiddle, it’s a child orientate search engine – click here
  • If you feel unsure talking to your children about internet safety, asks your child(s) school to bring people like Code Stack in, and we will deliver a child friendly internet safety talk.

What MoMo actually is:-

  • It is a social media harvesting tool – click here for more information
  • A hackers tool to gain information online