UPDATE (1st March)
It has been confirmed that the Momo threat is a hoax and that the reports of children being contacted cannot be verified. Charities report no evidence. However, children have been drawn into this and therefore a threat remains at a level of children being scared and escalating fears between themselves.
A number of parents have informed me of an app seen by children that is of concern. Likewise, this app has been recognised in the press as having negative connotations that are dangerous. The App is referred to as 'Momo'. It is commonly accessed and shared via WhatsApp.
An online “game” that encourages young people to harm themselves and in some cases even take their own lives has been reported in the UK for the first time.
Momo, described as a WhatsApp “suicide challenge”, features an avatar of a woman with dark hair, pale skin and oversized eyes, who sends young people images and instructions on how to harm themselves and others. It is designed to prey on young children by instilling negativity on the basis of urban myths.
Momo should be blocked and deleted. If you or your child get the message on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or any other social media platform with an abuse reporting mechanism you should report it.
Parents are strongly advised to check their children's devices and remain vigilant of what children access on line, especially in the privacy of their bedrooms.
Advice on how to support children to say 'no' to app requests is linked below. More information for parents is available in the parent section of the school website.