Momo: A viral horror story

Parents are concerned over ‘Momo’ who is the latest viral horror story to hit the internet. A distorted image of a woman with bulging eyes,an unnaturally wide smile and grudge like black hair. Children are even having trouble sleeping at night.

Lincoln resident Linda Bradley said: “My cousin who lives in Leicester was telling me at the weekend that his daughter’s school decided to speak to the kids directly about Momo and scared their daughter to death. She has been very anxious about it ever since and is struggling at bed time.”

A quick online search of “Momo” pulls up thousands of images. Photo: Elizabeth Harrison

There were claims that Momo was appearing in children’s videos online, encouraging them to commit violent acts or kill themselves. However these claims have since been dismissed YouTube saying there was no evidence of videos promoting or showing Momo.

This was backed up by the NSPCC and Samaritans also said that there is no evidence of children harming themselves from seeing Momo online, but now due to the mass coverage could be putting vulnerable people at risk.

Despite the fact that ‘Momo’ has been exposed as a hoax, the constant coverage in the media is likely to be scaring children. Even some schools have addressed the matter.

Another Lincoln resident Natty Willetts said: “I don’t think it’s a big deal for kids, none i’ve spoken to have taken it seriously. It’s only become “scary” because the media have influenced parent’s fears.”

Momo originates from Reddit, a social media site, originally created by Japanese artist Midori Hayashi. Although, the resurfacing of the image has nothing to do with the artist.

This viral hit really shows how easy it is for moral panic to spread across the world through the internet.