The Film and Publication Board has urged parents to be vigilant concerning their children's online activities. This comes at the game known as the 'Momo Challenge' makes global headlines for targeting young children with extreme cyberbullying.
The Film and Publication Board released a statement, cautioning parents about the latest trend in online cyberbullying- the Momo Challenge.
According to the statement, small children are being targeted by the movement, which coaxes victims with increasingly disturbing tasks:
"The “Momo Challenge” appears as a scary image on online platforms with requests for the user to contact “Momo” on WhatsApp through one of several contact numbers. Reports claim that the character instructs children to complete challenges that they must keep secret or “Momo” will kill them."
FPB’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Maria Motebang, commented on the situation:
“Our FPB online monitors conducted a search on legitimate and known App stores and were unable to find reference to the game. However, there is a possibility that the game may be shared on a peer-to-peer basis. Parents and guardians are therefore urged to monitor their children’s devices and report such content."
While there have been no reports of incidents in South Africa, the entity is encouraging people to closely monitor what their children are doing online.
Here are some tips on how to use monitoring Apps to keep your child safe online:
- Set the App to alert you when your child is logging on to certian Apps
- Control how much time they spend online by setting limits
- Monitor what your child downloads
- Supervise your child when allowing them online and monitor games and videos
- Teach them to identify people or activities that are unacceptable and encourage them to report them
- Restrict devices to age appropriate content
- Ensure your child does not violate age restrictions when allowing them to join social media.
While efforts are made by platforms, such as YouTube Kids and Facebook, to prevent disturbing content reaching your children, incidents have still been reported of the video cropping up in unexpected places.
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