The Ministry of Electronics and IT has issued an advisory in the wake of the viral 'Momo Challenge' that has reportedly claimed multiple lives around the world and in India.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT has issued an advisory in the wake of the viral ‘Momo Challenge’ that has reportedly claimed multiple lives around the world and in India. The ministry issued an advisory for the parents and has asked them to monitor their kids online and social media activity. It has also asked parents to avoid talking about the challenge or the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’.
But exactly is the Momo Challenge?
Momo Challenge asks social media users to perform several self-haring tasks out of which the last one is to commit suicide. The game which first started on Facebook is now going viral on WhatsApp too. The ‘game controller’ is still unidentified. The user has a profile picture of a Japanese ‘Momo’ doll, and challenges players to do the task. The unidentified person also threatens them with violent videos, images and audios if an individual fails to comply with the task they are given. According to cyber experts, the challenge is a hoax aimed at stealing personal data and extorting information.
The Electronics and IT Ministry has advised parents to keep an eye on their children’s online activity. It has also asked parents to enquire about their mental health, and look out for any unusual behaviour. They have also been warned of increased withdrawal or anger, especially after using the internet, and new phone numbers and email contacts.
The ministry has also advised parents to install good cyber/mobile parenting software to monitor online activity. Parents are also advised to remind their children of their support.
Ministry of Electronics and IT lists signs and symptoms of children being exposed to the Momo Challenge:
* Becoming withdrawn from friends and family
* Persistent low mood and unhappiness
* Looking worried that stops him/her from carrying out day to day tasks
* Sudden outbursts of anger directed at themselves or others
* Loss of interest in activities that they used to enjoy
* Visible marks like deep cuts or wounds on any part of the body of the child