Opinions

The Momo Challenge

With all the benefits that the internet offers, it can also be a dangerous place. The past few days have been characterised by news related to the Momo challenge, which has caused a stir in the minds of parents, as the allegations are that this challenge entices young children to perform dangerous stunts, such as suicide.

The Momo Challenge is alleged to contain shocking imagery and hidden messages which deeply influence children into doing regrettable actions. With that said, it is also reported that there is no actual, concrete proof that the Momo challenge is true.

According to Facebook posts, frightening imagery and language are being placed in YouTube videos which are intended for kids. It also seems that it has extended to WhatsApp where children have been receiving disturbing images and messages from unknown people.

The accompanying image is a disturbing doll with bulging eyes. A creepy sculpture of nightmares. It has been linked with the death of a twelve-year-old girl who committed suicide in Argentina. The dangers of the Momo challenge have also been highlighted by the police in Spain. In 2018, the death of a girl in India was also linked to the Momo challenge.

Irrespective of whether Momo is real or not, it is a cause for concern because we cannot really say if there are manipulators out there placing content in videos which are intended for children. The publicity that Momo has generated might entice people with bad intentions. This accentuates the importance of parent involvement when it comes to the online activity of minors. Being ever so vigilant is key. Parents need to know exactly what their kids are watching, when and why.

One of the easiest ways to keep tabs on your child’s internet usage is by checking the browser history after each use. All internet browsers will log the websites visited. You can also block a number of websites which may contain material that is inappropriate for children. There are also a number of software programmes which can help you with monitoring your child’s online activity.

Vigilance is key for children’s internet usage. Be very careful.

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