Urgent warning as sick and creepy Momo 'self-harm game' targeting children arrives in N.I.

The image used by individuals who operate the Momo Challenge game online.
The image used by individuals who operate the Momo Challenge game online.

A disturbing 'self-harm game' which encourages young children to harm themselves and in some instances, to take their own lives, has arrived in the North of Ireland.

The 'Momo Challenge' has spread at an alarming rate through western Europe and other parts of the world via social media.

The Momo Challenge doll (above) is believed to have originated in Japan.

The Momo Challenge doll (above) is believed to have originated in Japan.

A primary school in Northern Ireland took steps to make parents aware of the game by issuing a warning on Facebook.

"Please beware of what your children are doing online," wrote the school Friday morning.

"This new game 'Momo' has recently come to the UK and encourages children to, amongst other things, harm themselves.

"It also encourages children to keep their activities a secret," added the school.

One Northern Ireland mother was filled with "absolute dread" when she saw traces of the game on her seven year-old daughter's mobile phone recently.

“When I saw it, it filled me with absolute dread," the mother told Belfast Live.
"Internet safety has always been a big thing when my daughter is online and we’ve made sure we always have parental blocks and safety measures in place.

“She doesn’t know how to download anything and even if she tries to, a text message is sent to my partner’s phone so he’d know about it," she added.

There have also been cases reported in the Republic of Ireland.

How does it work?

Children are encouraged to contact something called Momo by sending a message using WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms.

The child then receives menacing threats to his or her phone and are coerced into carrying out a series of dangerous and often violent acts.

The person operating Momo will ask the child to submit photographs to prove they had completed the tasks.

If the child does not comply the person operating Momo begins to bombard the child's phone with threatening and often disturbing messages and images.

The suicide of a 12 year-old girl in Argentina was linked to the 'Momo Challenge' in 2018.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this story contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 or visit their website or contact the Samaritans on 116 123 (UK) or visit their website.