A school has warned parents to ‘be vigilant’ following reports the ‘Momo challenge‘ has begun hacking into children’s games and programmes.
Northcott Community Special School in Bransholme, Hull, UK, issued the warning to parents, advising that the ‘challenge’ appears midway through programmes and games in order to avoid detection.
The hack subjects children to disturbing images and threatens them if they do not complete challenges. It has been reported that the hack has made threats to kill children in their sleep and has encouraged them to self-harm.
Now, the hack has began cropping up in popular children’s games and TV programmes, such as Peppa Pig and Fortnite.
Fortnite has proven extremely popular with children and teens but is reportedly being hacked by the Momo Challenge. Credit: Epic Games
The hack has already been linked with more than 130 teen deaths in Russia and the suicide of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina, according to the Mirror.
The challenge begins with children receiving violent images over WhatsApp, and from there they are encouraged to take part in an online game comprised of various challenges, facing threats if they don’t complete them.
Northcott Community Special School took to Twitter to make parents aware of the hack.
The tweet read: “IMPORTANT: we are aware that some nasty challenges (Momo challenge) are hacking into children’s programmes.
“Challenges appear midway through Kids YouTube, Fortnight, Peppa pig to avoid detection by adults. Please be vigilant with your child using IT, images are very disturbing.”
The haunting character used in the Momo challenge was created by Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, though he is in no way associated with the hack.
A National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) spokesman condemned the disturbing challenge and encouraged parents to reassure their children.
According to the Mirror, he said: “Children can find it difficult to stand up to peer pressure but they must know it’s perfectly okay to refuse to take part in crazes that make them feel unsafe or scared.
“Parents should talk with their children and emphasise that they can make their own choices and discuss ways of how to say no.
“Reassuring a child that they can still be accepted even if they don’t go along with the crowd will help stop them doing something that could hurt them or make them uncomfortable.”
Featured Image Credit: Midori Hayashi