This week, something called ‘the Momo challenge’ caused panic across the UK thanks to an utterly irresponsible article in the Herald, which was then picked up like loose change across the UK’s media, which then seems to have prompted another worldwide panic. That’s right, I say another because last summer this was a thing and was thoroughly debunked by the online horror community. Here’s the splendid Reignbot outlining just how much of a pile of crap it all was.
And here’s Know Your Meme doing the same now in full updated detail. All of this information was online before the Herald article hit, but this didn’t stop loads and loads of parents being worried about something that doesn’t exist because it’s a myth, a meme or a Creepypasta or whatever your generation wants to call it.
What’s horrendous in all of this is that kids are killing themselves not because of a horrific sculpture by a Japanese artist but because of their mental health, and in among all this media-driven panic children’s mental health barely got a sniff.with media instead using the twin bogeymen of Momo and social media to drive fear into kids. Kids and teenagers however have some great coping systems so with the help of no irresponsible adults, they’ve been doing wonders to make something that is a disturbing image into something nice and fun.
Of course the media won’t learn its lesson and will carry on spreading these stories, as will parents who can’t even Google to see what’s going on so next time round there’s a moral panic more kids will be needlessly scared all because the media in its drive for clicks and views can’t engage some critical thinking to factcheck these stories, not until the panic is in full bloom at least.
We should expect more from the media, and from parents easily to panic, but thank fuck the online generation took this into their own hands to detoxify and debunk because the established figures of authority weren’t doing it.