Satanic Panic 2.0: The Momo Challenge hoax [TW: Self-harm/suicide]


Originally published at:


I would never trust anyone named “folklorist”.

I’ve heard everything that they say is Grimm.


That pic on the right looks liken something of out Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice.


Currently it seems that the aggregate of all ‘social media’ amounts to a complex function which takes as an input the annoying or tedious features of life and returns only actively notably negative stuff. I would read with interest a compendium of circumstances where social media has improved human existence that i be set straight on this issue, (i dunno, something associated with school desks for Malawian children perhaps?) [bitter old man face emoji]


The creepy part is, the parents read these hoax stories, and warn the kids, “never do this sexual / violent / blasphemous / racist thing,” which immediately gives teens a roadmap to outrage.


Putting QUILTBAG people in touch with other QUILTBAG people and allies, when they would otherwise be isolated. I was in this situation 20 years ago, LiveJournal was literally* a lifesaver.

* I do mean literally as in literally.


That’s exactly what happened here. Kids started circulating the ‘Momo’ meme, and it became so widely entrenched that the school principal sent home an official memo saying it was a hoax, nothing to worry about. Next thing, the parents started talking about it with their kids and each other (not in a good way), and some of them started to add to the meme. Rumor mill at its finest.


I have never heard about this funny and vicious face.
If this site push innocent children to do harm themselves, then by all means the site should be stooped at once.


Not as terrifying as the “Maymay” challenge, where one is encouraged to enact self-harm on a national level.

These kinds of hoaxes are primed to be self-fulfilling, even if only as a joke (which then gets confused for something real).


looks at Momo image

This is exactly the kind of thing D&D prepared me for.

I want to cast Protection from Evil and arm my mace and shield.


Oh! New Idea:

The best way to protect your children from the MOMO challenge is to ensure that no devices that they come into contact with have Facebook or YouTube on them. Until your children are old enough to be able to navigate the adult world and have the knowledge and self-care to deal with things that may scare them, to be able to determine when something is a threat to them and to be able to report it to someone who can help them take care of it, and to think for themselves and be able to maintain their own safety, they should not be using internet services including Facebook, YouTube, or anything with a comment section on their own.

The age at which someone is old enough to handle themselves on the internet varies from about 12 to somewhere in the mid-90s. If you take the MOMO challenge seriously but do not like this advice, ask your parents or another authority figure for help in removing the internet from your devices.

(I realized I was old when I started getting annoyed at all these children complaining about what their children are being exposed to on the internet… and yet, I’m OK with it. Also, please get off my lawn.)


Never heard the term before, thanks BB! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Despite the attempts to handwring and panic by those unaffected, social media has helped people with mental illness, too.

Isolation, feeling like you’re the only person trying to deal with something no one else understands… And suddenly there’s this whole community who gets it.

Bullying happened before social media. Self harm and suicide happened before social media. A lot of people have not self-harmed or killed themselves, because of the support they’ve gotten from people online. They learned coping methods and skills no one was willing or able to teach them before. Sometimes it’s just someone willing to listen when no one around would before.

Social media has also helped wake me up to the toxic attitudes and ignorance I once held and am now working to shed. I have been able to listen to the experiences of people who come from different backgrounds from me, and learn how narrow my POV was before. You no longer need to live in a diverse neighborhood to expose yourself to diversity. You just need to be able to log on, shut up, listen and think.

Social media can be toxic or a literal lifesaver. The practices of social media companies may be sinister and disturbing, but the ability to connect to people not in your immediate geographic sphere doesn’t have to be.


Challenge accepted :wink:

The biggest problem for parent it’s the pervasive nature of Facebook and Insagram enabled portable devices. With a desktop computer, in the 2000s the access to internet and BBS was more controllable and not havin it was not a big problem in other social relationship. Nowadays not having a smartphone is a weird thing.


I have been frustrated by the flood of news reports about the initial hoax and then the stories about it BEING a hoax making it really difficult to find info about the original statue… or even different photos of it at all. Thanks to this article mentioning the artist’s name i found this image. It’s a creepy sculpture but kinda funny and hard to look away from.


it looks like it’s essentially a naked woman on all 4s with bird feet and an almost bird beak mouth… the more i look at it, as it’s own piece of art outside of this hoax/meme, the more it feels like a weird sexist caricature of a woman as an animal… maybe there’s more context here or is it just dumb shock value juxtapoz type of art… hm.


I haven’t been able to find out much about the statue myself, but I think it’s supposed to tie in to ancient ghost myths:

I can’t confirm it, because like you, what I’ve dug up doesn’t tell me as much as I’d like about the artwork itself. :rage:


I’m still upset I never got any of that “Mickey Mouse acid” they were warning us about back in elementary school.


Kid murderers because “Momo told us to do it” in 3… 2… 1…


I wrote a long and exasperated email to my kids’ schools about their response to this… and didn’t send it as my partner thought it mightn’t make them well disposed to us.

At least now my girls have discovered that it still is worth checking in with me to discuss advice from police/school/other parents.