Hexbyte – Science and Tech
Momo (Photo: Unidad de Investigacion de Delitos Informaticos)
A suicide game called “Momo” is spreading on social media, prompting police in multiple countries to issue warnings about it.
The “Momo” challenge asks people to add a contact via WhatsApp. They are then urged to hurt themselves or commit suicide.
It has been compared to the “Blue Whale challenge” that led to reports of suicides in Russia and the U.S., including a teenager in San Antonio.
Police in Argentina are investigating whether “Momo” is connected to the suicide of a 12-year-old girl, according to the Buenos Aires Times.
The Computer Crime Investigation Unit in Mexico says the game started on Facebook where members were “challenged” to communicate with an unknown number.
The avatar for “Momo” is the image of a woman with grotesque features and bulging eyes from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who is not associated with the game.
“Don’t add ‘Momo’!” warned Spain’s Guardia Civil in a tweet.
“WhatsApp cares deeply about the safety of our users,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement. “It’s easy to block any phone number and we encourage users to report problematic messages to us so we can take action.”