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Online Momo Challenge: Advisory issued on new killer game
After the 'Blue Whale game', it is the turn of the 'momo challenge' which is affecting the kids as the new killer game on social media. The parents have been advised to keep a close watch on their children while they access the social media - Facebook and WhatsApp.

The online game on social media, the users are being challenged to communicate via an unknown number. According to reports, the pivture of frightening doll with popping out eye balls and a wide mouth is being related to the challenge. The unkown administrator of the game ‘Momo’ contacts the victims. Thereafter, a seriers of tasks, which are violent in nature incluse suicide, to be accomplished are assigned to ultimately meet so-called 'Momo'.  

Once the ‘Momo’ contacts the victims, they send across a series of tasks that must be completed to meet ‘Momo’. Like in Blue Whale challenge, these tasks are reportedly violent, with the final task being suicide. 

The Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) (Cyber Laws & e-Security Group) has issued an advisory against the Momo challenge Version 1.0 

"The Momo Challenge consists of a variety of self harming dares which becomes increasingly risky as the game progresses and it finally ends with suicide challenge. The game involves challenges that encourage teenagers/ children / any other user to engage in series of violent acts as challenges of the

game," states the advisory. 

The advisory suggests parents and caregivers to look out for the Signs and Symptoms such as Becoming withdrawn from friends and family; Persistent low mood and unhappiness; Looking worried that stops him/her from carrying out day to day tasks; Sudden outbursts of anger directed at themselves or others; Loss of interest in activities that they used to enjoy; and Visible marks like deep cuts or wounds on any part of the body of the child. 

It has been advised that to protect the child from this game, besides looking at the child's behaviour, parents need to see: " Check in with your child, ask how things are going. Ask if there have been things stressing them,or anything that has them worried. If your child is talking about any level of distress, do not

hesitate to ask them about changes in mental health...Unless there is reason to believe your child already knows of or has played the game, don't

discuss about the Blue Whale game. By doing so, you increase the chance that your child will search for it on their own...Monitor your children's online & social media activity to ensure they are not engaging with this game." 

The advisory urges, "Install a good cyber/mobile parenting software which helps them in monitoring your children. Parents should take reports from child counsellor present in the school at regular intervals. If you fear your child may be at risk, get professional help right away. Remind your child that you are there and will support them as they face life challenges."

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