Images of a demonic chicken lady are stoking panic across the globe, with warnings of a dangerous “suicide game” that targets children on social media. But behind the hysteria linked to the so-called “Momo challenge” is an issue far more revealing: This urban legend is likely little more than a hoax fueled by media reports and parents’ fears about their kids’ online activity.
It’s no wonder why the Momo challenge has been able to capture the fears of adults with a mythical force that’s persisted for months. The headlining image for the “challenge” is undeniably creepy — the stuff of nightmares for children and adults alike. It’s as if someone combined Voldemort with a bug-eyed version of the girl from The Ring and inexplicably decided her cleavage should transition into oversize chicken legs.
And the underlying challenge, with its messages supposedly encouraging kids to commit violence and self-harm, would be far more harrowing — if there were any discernible evidence proving this is actually a problem.
Experts say there is no indication that children are being driven to suicide since the story went viral. YouTube said previously it had no evidence of videos promoting the challenge, and it’s since demonetized content featuring the signature Momo image that has cropped up since the hysteria bubbled into the mainstream.
June 4th, 2019
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