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Parents Beware! “Momo” Suicide App is Appearing in Minecraft

The Momo suicide challenge ((St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office Facebook)

Law enforcement in numerous countries are warning parents about an icon representing a mysterious new “suicide game” known as Momo that has been added to the wildly popular Minecraft game.

Fox News is reporting on the icon of a bird-woman associated with the WhatsApp game, Momo, that has been popping up in Minecraft which is played by millions of youth.

Believed to have originated in Mexico, players are challenged to communicate on WhatsApp with an unknown person named Momo. The victim is sent violent images and is threatened if they refuse to follow the game’s “orders” which eventually lead to committing suicide.

“The sick icon has been added by so-called 'modders,' people with knowledge of programming who create personalized content for Minecraft,” Fox is reporting.

“The Minecraft mod adds the macabre avatar for ‘Momo,’ a haunting image of a woman with grotesque chicken-like features and bulging eyes that then chases the player while holding a mobile phone showing the WhatsApp icon,” Fox continues.

In addition, parents are also warning that ads promoting Momo have been appearing in YouTube videos about Minecraft.

“There are fears it could lead youngsters to investigate the dangerous phenomenon, which has also been linked to the theft of personal data, harassment, extortion, anxiety, depression and insomnia,” Fox continues.

Even more terrifying is a report by a police officer in Ohio who described how his seven-year-old son was watching a YouTube video on Minecraft when an ad about Momo popped up.

"He began talking about Momo and how weird she looked," said Lieutenant Dave Carter of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office to WTOL. "So, he ended up looking it up and saw that it was that suicide challenge."

He and the boy’s mother immediately spoke to him about why he should never contact Momo and say their son is now frightened of it. They are speaking out in order to warn parents that this is showing up in innocent places, such as on YouTube videos that kids use to learn how to play Minecraft.

WTOL tried to contact Momo to learn more but no one responded to their call or message.

"It's shocking," Lieutenant Carter said. "And knowing that there is potential that they have been successful in having kids hurt themselves, even you know in my position here at the sheriff's office we're looking into it."

According to the Washington Post, the Momo game is allegedly linked to at least three recent suicides of minors in Argentina, Colombia and India.

In one case, a 12-year-old girl in Buenos Aires was found hanging from a tree in her family’s backyard with her cellphone located near her body. Police hacked the phone and found footage and WhatsApp chats.

In Barbosa, Colombia, a 12-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy committed suicide within 48 hours of each other. The two apparently knew each other and were participating in the Momo challenge.

“Young people are accessing it,” Janier Londono, government secretary of Barbosa in the Antioquia region, told Caracol Radio, “the game has several challenges, they are accessing them and, in the end, it leads to suicide to finish the game.”

As of yet, none of these circumstantial reports tying the game to suicides have been proven.

In response to the growing panic, Microsoft told Fox that it is dealing with the sickening “mod.”

“This content, which was independently developed by a third party, does not align with our values and is not part of the official Minecraft game. This is a misuse of the platform and we are taking action to restrict access to the mod,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.

Authorities around the world are worried that the Momo app could turn into another “Blue Whale” game which encourages youngsters to undertake tasks ranging from self-harming to waking up at odd hours. These tasks continue for 50 days and culminate in the victims being asked to kill themselves. The game is linked to at 130 deaths in Russia where it is believed to have originated.

Experts are warning parents to do their research on Momo, check their child’s phone or tablet, and talk to them about this dangerous game.

Lieutenant Carter also suggested that children should avoid messaging apps because “you never know who is on the other end,” he told WTOL.

However, if your child does use one of these messaging systems, check it regularly to see who they are talking to and what is being said.

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