It can be easy to assume that our kids are safe while watching kids shows on YouTube and even YouTube Kids, but scary details have emerged about the dangers of letting our kids watch the unregulated internet channels without supervision.
This week, scary new details have been revealed about a shocking new viral challenge called the ‘Momo Challenge’ that has infiltrated YouTube and YouTube Kids channels mid program, telling kids of all ages to do terrible and dangerous things, including but not limited to killing themselves.
Programs such as Peppa Pig, LOL Surprise unwrapping shows, Fortnite and other highly watched shows have been targeted by Momo, a grotesque character which threatens to curse children if they don’t partake in the dangerous challenges.
Reports have come to light stating that Momo has instructed kids to do things such as sneak to the kitchen while everyone is asleep and turn the stove on then go back to bed. It also threatens to curse the kids if they tell an adult about the challenges.
This is not the first time this sort of content has made its way onto YouTube. In 2014 in Wisconsin, two school girls were charged with the attempted murder of one of their classmates after telling authorities that ‘Slender Man’ had told them to do it or suffer the consequences.
Momo has already claimed the life of a 12 year old Argentinian girl who was found dead in her backyard. The girl had filmed the activities that lead to her suicide, and What’s App chat details were still on her phone where she had been engaging with the Momo character and following instructions.
Authorities have issued warnings to parents to never let their children watch YouTube or YouTube Kids, or play internet based games without adult supervision.
Australian television channels and subscription services including Netflix, Stan, Foxtel and free to air all have to adhere to strict content guidelines and restrictions and consumers are free to file complaints to an advisory board that will take action if content is deemed to be inappropriate. YouTube and YouTube Kids aren’t held to the same national standards, and parents should be aware of this when leaving the kids to watch TV or an iPad in another room.