Fears of new ‘Blue Whale’-style suicide game rise as terrifying ‘Momo’ challenge takes over WhatsApp

0
137
A disturbing new game sweeping social media has parents and authorities concerned that we may be seeing the rise of another ‘Blue Whale’ phenomenon. Users are challenged to contact ‘Momo’ by sending messages to an unknown number


A disturbing new game sweeping social media has parents and authorities concerned that we may be seeing the rise of another ‘Blue Whale’ phenomenon.

It’s been popping up all over the world in recent weeks, predominantly through WhatsApp, and appears to follow roughly the same script every time.

First, users are challenged to contact ‘Momo’ by sending messages to an unknown number – then, they’re hounded with frightening images and violent messages.

The viral game is tied to the unsettling image of a woman with grotesque features, ripped off from the work of Japanese doll artist Midori Hayashi.

Momo is now under suspicion for possible connection to the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina, according to the Buenos Aires Times, causing many to draw parallels to the Blue Whale challenge linked to dozens of suicides in Russia last year.

A disturbing new game sweeping social media has parents and authorities concerned that we may be seeing the rise of another ‘Blue Whale’ phenomenon. Users are challenged to contact ‘Momo’ by sending messages to an unknown number

A disturbing new game sweeping social media has parents and authorities concerned that we may be seeing the rise of another ‘Blue Whale’ phenomenon. Users are challenged to contact ‘Momo’ by sending messages to an unknown number

It’s unclear what the motivations really are behind the game, but authorities warn the anonymous senders could be using it to steal information or encourage violence and suicide, according to the BBC.

The sinister challenge has been reported in several countries around the world, including Argentina, Mexico, the United States, France, and Germany, though it so far seems to be most popular in Latin America.

It appears to be targeting teenagers.

According to the Buenos Aires Times, the 12-year-old who may have fallen victim to the game filmed her activities before taking her own life last week, and may have been encouraged to do so by someone else.

Police are now working to locate an 18-year-old she’s believed to have met online, after finding footage and messages between the two on WhatsApp.

The sinister challenge has been reported in several countries around the world, including Argentina, Mexico, the United States, France, and Germany, though it so far seems most popular in Latin America

The sinister challenge has been reported in several countries around the world, including Argentina, Mexico, the United States, France, and Germany, though it so far seems most popular in Latin America

The viral game is tied to the unsettling image of a woman with grotesque features, ripped off from the work of Japanese doll artist Midori Hayashi

The viral game is tied to the unsettling image of a woman with grotesque features, ripped off from the work of Japanese doll artist Midori Hayashi

The viral game is tied to the unsettling image of a woman with grotesque features, ripped off from the work of Japanese doll artist Midori Hayashi

No one knows exactly where Momo originated, or who is behind the disturbing trend, though it’s so far been linked to at least seven phone numbers beginning with codes from Japan and multiple countries across Latin America, according to the BBC.

‘It all started in a Facebook group where participants were challenged to start communicating with an unknown number,’ the Computer Crime Investigation Unit of the State of Tabasco, Mexico, wrote on Twitter.

‘Several users said that if they sent a message to Momo on their cell phone, the response came with violent and aggressive images, and some say they had messages answered with threats.’

The disturbing challenge has been popping up all over the world in recent weeks, mostly on WhatsApp. File photo

The disturbing challenge has been popping up all over the world in recent weeks, mostly on WhatsApp. File photo

The disturbing challenge has been popping up all over the world in recent weeks, mostly on WhatsApp. File photo

WHAT IS THE ‘BLUE WHALE’ CHALLENGE?

A sickening social media challenge came to light last year after it was reportedly linked to hundreds of teenage suicides in Russia.

Dubbed the ‘Blue Whale challenge,’ it encouraged participants to take part in a series of harmful tasks, such as cutting themselves, over the course of 50 days.

Russian media reported that the challenge urged teenagers to use a knife or razor to make the shape of a whale on their wrist or leg.

An example of this was shared in a disturbing image posted by the Siberian Times.

The game also urges teens to watch horror movies all day, and to wake themselves at 4.20am, before taking their own lives on the final day.

Victims of the game often shared images of a blue whale on social media.

Just last month, it was revealed that 22-year-old Nikita Nearonov is being investigated as a possible mastermind of the Blue Whale challenge.

Officers believe Nearonov was a ‘major and dangerous’ perpetrator of the social media ‘game’, amid claims he groomed ten ‘underage’ girls for death operating mainly from his home near Moscow.

Nearonov has not confessed and insists he was just being ‘friendly’ to the girls.

The images used as the face of the game were taken from the Instagram of a Japanese artist, who is not associated with the challenge.

WhatsApp users are being urged not to contact unknown numbers or engage in chain messages.

‘Urban legends have always existed, and with the internet this has not changed,’ online safety expert Rodrigo Nejm told the BBC.

‘Criminals take advantage to surf this wave.’ 

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 1 (800) 273-TALK visit a local Samaritans branch or see www.samaritansusa.org for details.

In the UK, contact HOPELine UK helplines services on 0800 068 41 41, text 07786 209 697, or email pat@papyrus-uk.org.

 

 

(function() {
var _fbq = window._fbq || (window._fbq = []);
if (!_fbq.loaded) {
var fbds = document.createElement(‘script’);
fbds.async = true;
fbds.src = “http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbds.js”;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s);
_fbq.loaded = true;
}
_fbq.push([‘addPixelId’, ‘1401367413466420’]);
})();
window._fbq = window._fbq || [];
window._fbq.push([“track”, “PixelInitialized”, {}]);



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here