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'Momo Challenge' is a hoax, claim experts

But there is still a warning that harmful content is online.

Published by Dan Gooding at 11:39am 28th February 2019. 3-minute read.

'Momo Challenge' is a hoax, claim experts

After claims YouTube Kids videos were being 'hacked' with harmful messages, we're now being warned it's a hoax.

A group called 'That's Nonsense', who check out these things, say the Momo Challenge isn't what it seems.

The Guardian are reporting groups are sceptical about claims that the challenge is real.

That's Nonsense are saying:

  • YouTube videos cannot be 'hacked' to have other clips randomly appear in the middle of them
  • There is harmful content online, which parents and children should be aware of

Impossible to hack

It is 'impossible' to hack YouTube videos, say experts

That's Nonsense say the image being widely shared on social media is, in fact, a meme of a Japanese puppet.

They add that it is only the person who uploads a video to YouTube, or any other site, who has the ability to edit it.

Writer Craig Chiles says:

"If a video contained nothing but an innocent cartoon before, that is almost certainly still the case.

"For example the Peppa Pigg Official Channel – the official YouTube channel of Peppa Pig, which at the time of writing has 7.4 million subscribers, hundreds of videos and countless hours of Peppa Pig, is still perfectly safe and will not contain content unsafe for children."

YouTube say they have not seen any evidence, either:

Parents still need to be careful

This doesn't mean that all online content is safe, or that these videos suggesting self harm are not out there.

Craig goes on to say:

"We searched for hours – enough hours to never want to see a Peppa Pig episode ever again – looking for instances where the Momo meme appeared halfway during an innocent looking video featuring the cartoon, but we could not locate any, and despite many reports of such, no one we reached out to was able to provide a YouTube link containing such a video.

"With that said, we did locate a number of parody or spoof Peppa Pig videos on scarcely viewed channels that were certainly inappropriate for children, including a video containing excessive profanity, thumbnails featuring Peppa Pig bleeding or holding a gun, and a number of parody Peppa Pig videos featuring characters and storylines that could alarm younger children."

Advice for parents

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