EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ The "Momo Challenge" is an alleged form of cyberbullying that spreads through social media and cell phones. After phone users are enticed to contact a user named "Momo" through the social media network WhatsApp, they receive graphic threats from the user and are instructed to perform a series of dangerous tasks. Yesterday, the East Brunswick Public Schools issued a community warning regarding the "Momo Challenge" and its possible impact on local students.
Here is the full content of the letter sent by Danielle Blalock:
Dear East Brunswick Community,
Many of you may have already heard or seen on the news a new viral trend called the “Momo Challenge”. Children as young as 6 years old have reportedly been swept up into the challenge, which promises death to victims who don’t follow the orders of the character. It can be found via Facebook or through the WhatsApp.
It starts out by challenging the receiver to perform small tasks and quickly escalates to more serious violent acts and request photographs for proof. The "game" starts when a person adds a phone number belonging to “Momo”, a woman with large eyes and a sharp grin. The participant is then sent various challenges before ultimately being told to kill himself or herself. If they do not, they are threatened with a curse.
We would like to recommend that if your children already have social media accounts, you should have a conversation with them about internet safety as well as smartly monitoring what is happening on their pages. Websites such as the Child Mind Institute, Safe Search Kids and Parenting offer more information on monitoring children's social media use.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Student Assistance Specialist in your building.
Supervisor of Student Services