Hide and seek, lock and key, Statue of Liberty, color-color, don’t they strike a sense of nostalgia in you? Gone are the days of outdoor games, now it’s all about online games. Which brings us to the question, are these online games actually safe? We are all very familiar with the blue whale ‘game’. It has been the case of many suicides or rather murders. Following in the steps of the Blue Whale challenge that took over a hundred lives, a new unsettling game is now spreading on the social media platforms called the ‘Momo Challenge’. Links of this ‘game’ is getting circulated mostly through WhatsApp. The killer ‘game’ features a creepy image of a girl with distorted face and eyes bulging out which is actually is artwork by Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who has no association to the game in any way. The artwork is known as Mother Bird and is also linked with Link Factory.
Blue Whale Challenge, is a social network phenomenon dating from 2016 that has terrorised the entire nation. It is a game of several tasks or dares which are supposed to be completed by the players. These tasks revolve around elements of self harm, attempting dangerous options, and final challenge is to commit suicide.
While many experts suggest “Blue Whale” was originally a sensationalised hoax,they believe that it is likely that the phenomenon has led to instances of self harming and copycat groups, leaving vulnerable children at risk of cyberbullying and online shame.
SOME INCIDENTS THAT LED TO DEATHOn July 8th, 15-year-old Isaiah Gonzales was found dead hanging from his closet at his home in San Antonio, Texas. His cellphone was just near his body, where it had been broadcasting his suicide on social media. On July 10th, the San Antonio news station KSAT published an article about Gonzalez’ death, noting that his family suspected he was participating in a Blue Whale game after finding photos he sent to friends in which he is shown completing various self-harm tasks. On July 10th, the CBS North Carolina news network WNCN aired an interview with a family who claimed their unnamed teenage daughter committed suicide due to the Blue Whale game.
When this life threatening game, “Blue whale” was just getting supresed, another game popped up called ” The Momo Challenge”. It is basically a form of cyberbullying that spreads through social media and phones. In this case , they graphic threats are received and are instructed to perform a series of dangerous tasks. It generally takes to teenagers. Momo” relies on Whatsapp messages to convince potential “players” to use their mobile phone to contact one of several “Momo account” phone numbers.
Whoever has set up the account then repeatedly threatens the user to make personal information public , or inflict harm on family members, unless a succession of tasks is performed. Some people are threatened with supernatural harm such as magical curses. The threats and subsequent communications are often accompanied by disturbing, scary or horrific pictures.
This game is trending now, and is becoming the next ” blue whale”.For safety precaution WhatsApp is encouraging its users to block phone numbers related to the Momo Challenge and to report them to the company.
Parents are being warned of a disturbing suicide game influencing teenagers. In the ‘game’, Blue Whale, vulnerable teens are encouraged to follow a series of challenges, culminating in taking their own life. In much the same way, more players are reportedly threatened if they don’t follow the games orders. In the game Blue Whale, participants were required to complete daily tasks for 50 days, beginning with watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours, escalating to acts of self-mutilation. On the final day, the manipulators behind the game reportedly instructed the youngsters to commit suicide, according to local media. This only shows how our generation has become so technology involved that, they think, they need validation from some stupid, lame, jobless people, who they haven’t even met. What has our world come at?