In Argentina, a 12 year old girl apparently took her own life under the influence of some individual or individuals operating a social media account that tries to drive young people to suicide and other violent acts, according to the Buenos Aires Times. Police in the country have linked a “game” reminiscent of the “blue whale game” to her passing, and now they are in the process of hunting for the “adolescent with whom she exchanged those messages.”
“Momo” is the name of the Whatsapp account with an extremely disturbing avatar, made by a seemingly unrelated Japanese artist. The account is linked to at lest three phone numbers originating in Japan, Colombia, and Mexico, and Momo has been reported in Argentina, Mexico, the United States, Germany, and France.
They call it a “suicide game,” similar to the “blue whale game” that reportedly led to about 130 suicides in Russia.
Momo has a social media presence on WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook. The Tabasco, Mexico Computer Crime Investigation Unit reports that the game began when users on Facebook were dared to communicate with an unknown phone number.
Several users reported that once you communicate with the Momo number, you’re essentially bombarded with terroristic fear tactics, threats, violent images, and most importantly threats that harm will come to the user or their family if they refuse to follow through with the orders of the “game.”
The avatar for Momo is perhaps the single most disturbing thing about this. It was described by the Sun:
“The avatar used by Momo is an image of woman with grotesque features and bulging eyes taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who is not associated with the game in any way.”
The mainstream media and its connections reported that criminals probably use this as a tool to harvest information, but it seems to be much more than that.
1- Birçok çocuğun intihar etmesine neden olan Mavi Balina oyunundan sonra bu sefer de ‘Momo’ adlı yeni bir oyun ortaya çıktı. WhatsApp üzerinden yayılan oyun gençlere şiddet içerikli fotoğraflar ve tehdit içeren mesajlar gönderiyor. pic.twitter.com/Rk20iLsH7s
— Zet Lorento (@Zetgel24) July 31, 2018
A YouTube video cited by the Sun.uk said that if you were to make contact with any “Momo” number you’d probably be met with “insults, implications that this person knows your personal information and most notably disturbing images I would not be able to show you here.”
A warning was issued by some Spanish authorities: “it is better to ignore absurd challenges that come in the fashion in WhatsApp.”
“Do not go into ‘Momo’! If you record the number on your calendar, you will see a strange woman’s face, it’s the latest WhatsApp viral to come in vogue among teenagers,” the police force said.
This is of course being compared to the Blue Whale game because it’s eerily similar. So similar, that it should raise alarm bells about who could possibly influence the creation of a “culture of suicide games.”
But you know what would render a “suicide game” completely ineffective and useless at intimidating everyone? If a culture of the right to bear arms for self defense was prevalent in other countries, like it is in America.
Ask some people in Texas if they would commit suicide due to threats of them or their family members being killed: break into their momma’s house, and she’d shoot your ass.
(Image credit: the Sun)