Momo was perfectly tuned to set off alarms in the mind of any parent: There’s something online that you don’t know about, and it’s about to kill or traumatize your child. Just one problem: There’s little evidence to confirm that the Momo challenge is real. Although multiple deaths are often attributed to the challenge in warnings about it, none has been confirmed.
Childrens’ charities have said well-intentioned warnings from schools about a seemingly non-existent threat may have inadvertently caused young people to be genuinely scared by what was previously a hoax.
Worried parents share these hoax stories relentlessly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They beg the platforms themselves to do something to fix the mess. Many parents believe that spreading awareness about the latest dangerous craze will help kids stay safe, but they could very well be doing the opposite.