STRONGLY condemning the “Momo Challenge, a messaging app that is currently making the rounds on social media, the Department of Health has advised parents to monitor their kids’ social media and internet surfing habits.
The app features a doll figure named Momo with bulging eyes and an overly large mouth. It encourages one to add a contact on WhatsApp, a messaging platform owned by Facebook. Once this is done, Momo suddenly pops up in the account and entices one to play a series of challenges that becomes violent and eventually leads to self-harm and suicide. Furthermore, the app urges the child to keep the activity a secret and threats against family members are declared should the activity be disclosed.
“To counter this and other harmful apps, the DoH recommends to parents to be watchful of the children’s social media habits and to monitor closely the sites that they visit,” the DoH said in a statement.
The health department added that parents are encouraged to set boundaries on the use of media devices at home, such as no media device in their bedroom and on the dining table.
“Parents are also urged to find ways to make technology habits productive for their children, to be involved in their children’s internet activities,” it said.