After Blue Whale Challenge, Centre Issues Advisory On Deadly Momo Challenge

| September 12 , 2018 , 10:08 IST

A little over a year after the Blue Whale Challenge suicide game sprung up in India, the next suicide game 'Momo Challenge' has surfaced, and the Central government has issued an advisory on the controversial 'challenge' game.

The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry on Tuesday issued an advisory on the deadly 'Momo challenge', asking parents to monitor social media activity of their children to ensure that they are not engaging in the 'game'.

The Momo challenge is believed to originate from Japan and is connected to a creepy image of a woman-bird with big eyes. It involves players reaching out to administrators of the game whose contact image appears with the same woman-bird.

The administrators then send the players gory images and challenges, with the last challenge calling for the player to commit suicide, threatening the player of harm if he/she does not continue. Reports suggest that the administrators use powerful hacking software to find out personal details of players, using the details as leverage to force players to continue with the challenge.

Asking parents to "keep their eyes open" the ministry has also advised that they not mention the 'Momo challenge' directly to their children unless the parents believe they know about it, else it may spark curiosity amongst the children causing them to search for it on their own.

"Monitor your children's online or social media activity to ensure they are not engaging in this challenge and take regular reports from child counsellors and do not hesitate in seeking professional help," the WCD advisory said.

ALSO READ: All You Need To Know About The Blue Whale Challenge

The ministry has listed a series of signs for parents to look out for, including: unusually secretive behaviour particularly related to online activity, sudden increase in time spent online especially on social media, children changing screens on their device when approached, withdrawn or angry behaviour and an increase in new phone numbers and email contacts.

The advisory has also recommended to guardians to install a good cyber or mobile parenting software to monitor children.

"Remind your child that you are there and will support them as they face life challenges," the advisory said.

Police suspect that the Momo challenge has taken two lives in West Bengal, 18-year-old Manish Sarki on August 20 and 26-year-old Aditi Goyal on August 21.