Alright, we’ve all seen it floating around social media, that scary Momo picture and why people are removing YouTube apps from their kids tablets. I’m not even going to include a pic of Momo in this post because let’s face it, it’s creepy as hell. The words “Momo Challenge” give me the heebie jeebies every time I hear it now.
Everyone is freaking out this week about this Momo character and what’s being posted within videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids. The truth is, all of that was going on last summer too, in 2018. I remember talking to my two daughters, ages 7 and 10, about it because prior to that in April or May 2018, I had already deleted the YouTube Kids app from their iPads. This was just another reason why I affirmed my decision was right to remove the app in the first place.
If you haven’t looked into what everyone is talking about when they say “Momo Challenge”, here’s the short version of it. Basically, watch what your kids are looking at on YouTube because this video is telling them to kill or harm themselves. Momo is even telling children not to tell their parents or they will come and kill them. This character is even embedded into some of the videos that kids like to watch and it doesn’t pop up until 10-20 mins into the video. It’s within cartoons and reviews of toys. It’s embedded within videos of Peppa Pig, Caillou, LOL Dolls, Surprise Eggs, Ryan’s World, Fortnite, and so much more.
As of right now there aren’t any reports of children acting upon any of these videos and the instructions, which is great. That isn’t my point though, the point is our children shouldn’t be seeing this garbage at all.
This isn’t propaganda, fake news, or a rumor. It’s true and it’s very real.
Let’s get this out of the way right now and realize we sometimes put our kids with a tablet or the TV, so we can get things done, finish up some work, chores, or even a phone call. Yes, we sometimes rely on electronics to be our babysitter and we can’t watch over every second of what our kids are seeing. I’m a single mom and I work from home. I’m guilty of it. However, I’m all over my kids to make sure what they’re doing is safe.
(Ironically, my 10 year old just brought me her tablet to help her with a dance video for TikTok. That’s a whole other subject lol.)
Stop the Parent Shaming
Stop shaming parents for the Momo Challenge. Yes, we know to supervise our children and to always know what they’re watching. Sometimes it’s not possible to know EVERYTHING they’re seeing from beginning to end. It’s just not, unless you’re sitting there watching all of these videos and cartoons yourself. I know there are parents who just hand their kid electronics for the whole day, I’m sure this is a minority, and I’m not speaking on behalf of them. I’m talking about the concerned parents, the ones who are shocked about this happening when we try our best to lookout for our children.
The problem is this Momo character, introducing the Momo Challenge into our children’s videos/content. Before that it was the Blue Whale Challenge. I get that these things are going to happen, and who knows what challenge is coming next, hopefully it’s the Clean Your Room Challenge. Just kidding.
Why isn’t YouTube deleting these videos? Why do they allow them to be posted in the first place? I’m sure they have bots or employees that scan content. It’s not much different than Facebook scanning our photos or videos and deleting or blocking them. I mean, I’ve been in Facebook jail myself over a photo I posted, and it wasn’t even bad! I’ve read a few posts saying YouTube does, but then why are these videos out there. I’ve seen them myself.
IF YOU SEE THESE VIDEOS, PLEASE REPORT THEM AND YOU CAN ALSO BLOCK SOME OF THOSE ACCOUNTS ON YOUR CHILDREN’S YOUTUBE, AS WELL AS YOUR OWN!
Now the reason I deleted YouTube and YouTube Kids from my children’s iPads in the first place was because of Roblox videos and Slime videos. In the Roblox videos, I was listening to how these kids/teenagers would talk to others or their friends who were filming with them. It’s not that they were using bad language, it’s just the way they talked to each other. Called people names, making fun of people, bullying, etc. Now the slime videos, ugh, I hate slime. My 10 year old tried to make slime one Saturday morning while I was sleeping because of a YouTube video. She knows this is not okay, and we had that discussion, but this video was literally telling her it was okay to do WITHOUT asking your parents. Um no. That being said, the apps were deleted from my daughters’ tablets.
What Can We Do About It?
There are sick sick people in this world. We can’t shield our children from everything, but we can try to eliminate some of the bad. Be aware of what your children are seeing/doing. Talk to them about this situation. If you’re not sitting there watching everything with them, let them know they CAN COME TO YOU and show you content like this, despite what the video is telling them. Report these videos, over and over. Block them.
Just so we’re clear, I’m absolutely NOT telling you to delete any YouTube apps. It was the best decision for our family, it may not be for yours. The best thing we can all do is talk to our children. Let them know there is content out there like this. Change privacy settings within other apps such as Roblox or Fortnite. Talk to them about chat messages. Make sure they know that anything they encounter online that makes them feel uncomfortable, that they can come to you, WITHOUT any repercussions. The most important is conversing with our kids, and being there for our kids. Of course, being aware of content such as this Momo Challenge as well. The internet is ever changing, as our conversations with our children should be too.