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The "Momo Challenge" Is a Hoax and Charities Want People to Stop Sharing It

By Mark Pygas

Unless you've been lucky enough to be living under a rock for the last week, you've probably heard about the "Momo Challenge" that is causing concern to parents around the world. News coverage of the challenge has resulted in schools and even the police issuing warnings to parents. 

There have even been claims that the material has "hacked" into YouTube and is appearing in a video featuring Peppa Pig. 

The "Momo Challenge" has gone viral in the last week, with dozens of publications writing hundreds of articles warning parents about the challenge. Warnings have said that kids are encouraged to contact an unknown number on WhatsApp, which would put them in contact with Momo, including a profile picture of a distorted image of woman with bulging eyes. Momo would then encourage kids to commit violent acts though text messages. 

One warning about the challenge from a Facebook user has attracted over 96,000 comments and 220,000 shares from concerned parents since it was posted on Tuesday

But according to charities and fact checkers, it's all one big hoax. The Samaritans and the NSPCC in the United Kingdom have dismissed the claims and told The Guardian that there's no evidence whatsoever that the Momo challenge has caused any harm, but that the "ensuing media hysteria could now be putting vulnerable people at risk."

The NSPCC added that Momo Challenge has posed no threat to children, and that they've actually received more phone calls about it from members of the media than concerned parents.