Is the Momo Challenge A Hoax on Social Media?

Have these delivered to your inbox each week

Is the Momo Challenge A Hoax on Social Media?

February 27, 2019
Green Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Gray Zone

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Red Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Dangerous Social media challenges

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge. Knowing about social media challenges before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Table of Contents

Similar to the Blue Whale Challenge, the Momo Challenge is a dangerous viral social media trend with teens and tweens. The challenge encourages students to contact an unknown person called “Momo” via WhatsApp.

Is The Momo Challenge A Hoax? There are claims that the Momo Challenge is a hoax. However, the Tide Pod Challenge and Blue Whale Challenge were said to be hoaxes as well, until real students harmed themselves (or died by suicide) while participating. Students will sometimes believe these anonymous challenges and take part in the games. Please take a moment to learn about this type of challenge and dialog with your students about it. Also watch this video to learn how we make our app guides (and how you can do your own research).

Why is it important to highlight and provide truth to a trend people think could be a hoax?

  • Your kids may believe popular trends, even if they are intended by the creator to be a hoax
  • In our experience, social media challenges (like the Blue Whale Challenge) can start off as a hoax but then gain attention online (which gets many students taking the challenge seriously)
  • Learning about viral social media challenges before your children can help you keep them safe (and prevent them from trying the challenge with their friends)

Learn about the Momo Challenge in Josh's video:

Learn about the Momo Challenge on our Smart Social Podcast:

Parents & Educators: Take The Next Step And Join Josh's Next Free Webinar To Learn: How To Navigate The Negative Effects of Student Social Media (And Help Your Student Shine Online)

What is the Momo Challenge?

  • Throughout the Momo challenge, students are sent violent and graphic images and texts. If students want to stop the challenge “Momo” threatens to leak their personal information
  • Then, the stranger asks students to share photos and videos of themselves completing certain tasks
  • At first the tasks are small. For example: face a fear, wake up at weird hours throughout the night
  • The tasks escalate until the final task which encourages students to kill themselves
  • Images associated with “Momo” are based off of Japanese doll artists Linkfactory but the artists are in no way involved with the Momo challenge
  • WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook are the primary networks for the challenge

Why should parents care about the Momo Challenge?

  • If your student is participating in this challenge they are in danger
  • Students who partake in the Momo Challenge are actively communicating with strangers who intend to encourage self-harm
  • The Momo Challenge is not specific to one country, it is global
  • Law enforcement officials are investigating the suicide of a 12 year old student in Argentina whose death they believe is associated with the Momo Challenge
  • The Momo Challenge can feel real for students and may push them to harm themselves
  • Students are exposed to violent and graphic images throughout the challenge
  • Some students have reported that it’s easy to come across “Momo” on Facebook and YouTube and that it’s easy to connect with the character on WhatsApp

The Momo Challenge in the News

Police around the world are warning parents of a disturbing, violent internet challenge [the momo challenge] that could be encouraging children to take their own life. –ABC
Girl Takes Own Life in Possible Case of 'Momo Challenge,' a Dangerous New Social Media Game –Inside Edition

What can parents do about the Momo Challenge?

  • Consider talking about the Momo Challenge with your students and ask them if they have heard about it
  • Discuss the dangers of the challenge and remind them that “Momo” is not a fictional character but rather a real person with negative intentions
  • Teach your children to never communicate with strangers on social media and to never share personal information online
  • Remind your children that they can always talk to you about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable on social media
  • Learn about viral social media challenges before your children so that you can help keep them safe
  • Encourage your children to only use social media as a tool to improve their digital footprint and have fun with friends (in a safe way)

Toll-free support lines to call:

  • Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-2433
  • Crisis Call Center: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Lifeline Crisis Chat:

Share Your Thoughts With Our Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Become a free newsletter subscriber to get our social media suggestions in your email every Tuesday & Thursday.
Dotted arrow to right
Join the Smart Social weekly newsletter for FREE guides
Right arrow
Josh Ochs headshot Round
Host a Positive Social Media Zoom Training  For Your Organization

Our remote presentations (and website) teaches over a million students each year how to shine online. We teach students how their accounts can be used to create a portfolio of positive accomplishments that impress colleges and employers.

Request To Train Your Community
Right arrow
SmartSocial podcast logo
Join Our Smart Social Podcast each week on iTunes

With over 240 episodes, Josh Ochs interviews psychologists, therapists, counselors, teachers, and parents while showing you how to navigate social media to someday shine online.

Listen on:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts

Parents: Do you know the specific dangers inside of TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox (and more)?

Support us (by becoming a VIP Member) to learn every danger you need to know...

The VIP membership is the leading parent-friendly and student-friendly video training program that shows students how to be positive (and productive) online. Our video courses (and live events) reduce frustration between parents and students and teach students to excel with a positive digital footprint.

Read More From Smart Social:

Read More Posts On Our Blog
Right arrow

Free Parent Night: 25+ Dangers On
TikTok,  Snapchat, Instagram, Fortnite, Netflix, YouTube & More (Multiple Dates).

Join Josh for a presentation that will teach you the hidden safety features of TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, Discord, Fortnite, Twitch & more! (Register Here)

Register For Our Free Parent Event
Right arrow
Parent Event: 25+ Dangers on TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, Fornite, Netflix & YouTube by Josh Ochs