Viral videos and challenges has taken over the internet for some time now but there is a remerging trend that took over the internet. It is disturbing and unsettling, to say the least.
Over a year ago there has been this monstrous face showing up throughout videos on YouTube, it was coined the ‘Momo challenge’. This terrifying face has shown up during kids programs on YouTube and it has parents worrying about their children’s online activity.
It is said that the challenge was created to persuade children to commit suicide or self-harm. The image itself at first glance is utterly terrifying even for adults.
This challenge has brought upon a slew of media coverage of outraged parents demanding YouTube take action in finding who’s behind it. There’s a bigger question to be asked, should viral videos be graded in regard to who can see it?
I personally think that videos should be graded before the user hits the play button. YouTube has created a separate account tailored to children but that didn’t stop the Momo challenge from interfering with that either.
With the Momo challenge, YouTube has sent out a statement dismissing its involvement with the viral challenge on Twitter. In the end, it turned out that the viral challenge was nothing more than a hoax, heightened by the media and worried parents. The image that has been seen all over the world was actually of an art instalment done by artist Keisuke Aisawa called ‘Mother Bird’.
Although this challenge was deemed a hoax there are many other viral challenges that have resulted in death and serious illness. Challenges like the cinnamon challenge, that resulted in the death of a 4-year-old boy. The boy got his hands on a substantial amount of cinnamon to taste and it resulted in him collapsing and then having a seizure.
Medical officials have cautioned that the excessive use of cinnamon can be dangerous.
Dr. Robert Glatter, emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City says, “Choking is the main concern it can aspirate the powder into your upper airways and small passages of your lungs. It can cause an inflammatory reaction.”
With a challenge like this it only just solidifies how reckless and dangerous some of these viral trends can be. Having it shown to children is only sensualising something that is barbaric.
As of recently, there has been a challenge stemmed from the Netflix movie Birdbox where the characters needed to be blindfolded to survive. The excitement of that movie caused people to recklessly imitate what the characters did and in turn, getting themselves into serious danger due to sensory deprivation.
Just like YouTube did in regard to the Momo challenge, Netflix sent out a statement requesting the fans to stop doing the challenge.
The internet and social media have been both good and bad, there’s no limit on who can use it. There needs to be more restriction on the dangers on the internet.