(By Will Maule for FaithWire)
Warnings have been issued to parents about a new Whatsapp challenge game that claimed the lives of two Colombian children over the weekend.
The “Momo” game involves the young person adding “Momo,” an avatar of a bird-like woman with bulging eyes, to their Whatsapp group. The character, often someone in the group who is under the guise of the creepy profile picture, will then instruct the participants to do certain challenges, the last of which is to commit suicide. If the recipients refuse to participate, they are threatened with a “curse” or “evil spell.”
Local news outlet Caracol reported that within just 48 hours of each other, both a 12-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy took their own lives as a result of being involved in the demonic game.
“Apparently, they practiced this game through WhatsApp and it invited the young people to hurt themselves,” government secretary Janier Landono said, as reported by Fox News. “The game has different challenges and the suicide is at the end.”
The Momo doll was originally created by Japanese art company called “Link Factory.” However, they have denied having any involvement in the creation of this vile game.
Originally posted for Japanese twitter, but here’s an English translation
Also I’ll re-link the artists so check them out, but be sure to uncheck them in replies!
Creator: @aiso_link of @linkfactory
Additional art by: @slimyswampghost @OhThatNK @Viiperfish pic.twitter.com/rlQzb5ij25
— Pierce Panic (@pierce_panic) July 20, 2018
In the West Bengali district of East Burdwan, a man has been arrested for allegedly sending an invite to the deadly game, according to the Hindustan Times. According to police, Arindam Patra, a 19-year-old electrical engineering student, was the first person to be arrested for being involved with the bizarre phenomenon.
The game has struck fear in the hearts of many parents, particularly after the devastating consequences of last year’s “Blue Whale Challenge” game. Similarly to Momo, participants would be instructed to take part in certain challenges over a 50-day period. Many of these would be harmless, but would gradually become more serious in nature. The final acts would involve self-harm and, ultimately, suicide.
Some police departments have been issuing warnings to parents in an attempt to root out the disturbing new fad. “We haven’t received any reports on this in Pasco but we merely want to share this warning that law enforcement agencies from several countries are putting out,” tweeted the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office last month. “We want to remind parents to always be aware of what their kids are doing on social media.”
A Whatsapp spokesperson told Fox News that users should block any person who appears to be involved in the horrid game. “WhatsApp cares deeply about the safety of our users,” the messaging service said. “It’s easy to block any phone number and we encourage users to report problematic messages to us so we can take action.