Momo, The Sick 'Game' With Terrifying Outcomes
Momo is the disturbing online trend believed to be behind the suicide of a 12-year-old girl.
What you need to know
- It's believed a 12-year-old girl was motivated to take her own life by a woman posing as Momo
- The creepy photo of Momo originated in Japan in the Vanilla Gallery
- Momo originally began as a profile used to taunt people on Whats App and spawned countless copycat accounts
It's the online viral challenge that will send a shiver down your spine and it's having deadly consequences for those involved, targeting vulnerable teenagers.
A 12-year-old girl from Buenos Aires, Argentina was found dead, she had taken her own life and authorities are investigating links to the disturbing challenge known as Momo, which is believed to have motivated her to take her own life.
It began as a profile on the messaging app WhatsApp, those who added the contact were introduced to Momo with a disturbing photo of a statue from the Vanilla Gallery in Japan who has no links to the profile on the app.
The photo started doing the rounds on the internet. Memes were created around it, as were games and videos.
People became enthralled by the image and started to track down where Momo came from, eventually leading people to the profile on the app.
The real damage began when people contacted Momo and 'she' replied.
Most people who received a response, said they were subject to abuse, vile images and threats to use their personal information against them unless they filmed a series of challenges and sent them to Momo.
Copycat accounts started popping up online, drawing in vulnerable and curious people fascinated by the urban myth surrounding Momo which gained traction in online forums.
Tracking down who was posing as Momo is a difficult task considering the amount of copycats and WhatsApp allows users to message around the world for free.
There are three main contact numbers for Momo posted online, one of them originating from Japan and the other two from Mexico where the popularity of Momo has boomed.
Investigators believe the 12-year-old girl was speaking to a person posing as Momo and filmed herself carrying out requested challenges before being encouraged to take her own life.
According to the Buenos Aires Times, the girl filmed her activities immediately before taking her life and police are seeking an 18-year-old woman who the 12- year-old met on social media.
Momo has been linked to the notorious 2016 Blue Whale game which was linked to the deaths of 100 teenagers in Russia by encouraging users to complete challenges that eventually led to self harm.
The heartbreaking death has raised the alarm, once again for parents to monitor their children's social media use more closely and make an effort to understand the depths of the internet.
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondBlue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.