Thursday, February 28, 2019

"despite the flurry of reporting and warnings, it remains unclear how many Momo videos actually exist, whether they have actually caused kids to harm themselves, and just how widespread a phenomenon it is"

It’s also possible that media coverage has helped amplify the Momo Challenge into existence, creating a vicious cycle that encouraged people to post more Momo videos, sparked panic, and even caused police departments to issue warnings both about the challenge itself and the media’s promotion of it.

As of now, it’s nearly impossible to find out just how many of those videos were uploaded on YouTube, since the company has taken them down, making it difficult to search for them on the public-facing internet. YouTube told BuzzFeed News it has not seen any evidence of a widespread campaign.
Rolling Stone:
The Momo Challenge and the subsequent moral panic it has spawned is eerily similar to that inspired by the “Blue Whale” challenge, a Russia-based phenomenon that went viral last year. According to reports in the Russian media, the Blue Whale challenge involved teenagers following a series of increasingly self-harmful tasks over the course of 50 days, culminating with them being encouraged to take their own lives.

As is the case with most viral challenges, there was a grain of truth to reports of the Blue Whale challenge: There had been a recent rash of teen suicides in Russia (which has a higher-than-average teen suicide rate), and a man named Philipp Budeikin was arrested and charged with spawning the trend by organizing the game on social media. But most of the charges were later dropped, and it has since been reported that Budeikin likely created the groups as a way to promote his music career.

Here's a genuine nightmare: