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.Rolling Stone:
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.
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.
For serious: My three pint reckon is that urban legends like Momo are kids dealing with the terrors of the internet (of which there are many) by making them into a hyperbolic ghost story. The net is full of Mary Shelley's making dangers and traumas into story shaped things.— AlexWattsEsq (@AlexWattsEsq) February 28, 2019
Here's a genuine nightmare:
Hi everyone I made a gif of a crawling crinoid.— Phoebe Cohen (@PhoebeFossil) February 28, 2019
SWEET DREAMS pic.twitter.com/iSJ1c0LnR7