Worried Dundee mums are warning other parents about a “sickening” online suicide game that has reached the city.
Several mums have told the Tele that their children were left crying and hysterical after coming across the Momo Challenge which encourages children to harm themselves and others.
Councillor Stewart Hunter, Dundee City Council’s convener of children and families services, said the local authority and schools were aware and were warning parents to be on the lookout for their children viewing the game.
The Momo Challenge is played on WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and other online platforms, and encourages children to engage in dangerous activities.
In some cases, children have even been encouraged to take their own lives.
The eerie game shows the face of a girl with long, black hair and big bug-like eyes staring straight at the lens.
The challenge encourages children to take steps, progressively hurting and isolating themselves from the world, and they are eventually told to kill themselves by an anonymous controller who plots their demise.
Mum Ash Mullen, 36, from Douglas, said that two of her children had told her they had seen the game.
Ash said: “My youngest daughter showed it to me and my middle child was crying about it.
“This is really scary, sickening stuff and is terrifying children. It seems to be being watched by children all over Dundee and I’ve spoken to other mums who have said their children are ending up hysterical because of what they are seeing.
“Parents need to be made aware and we need to protect our children against this latest craze.”
Kirstin Anderson, from Monifieth, added: “This is there for any child to see. Kids are being petrified. I’ve spoken to people who have told me that even if the content settings are set to friendly their children are seeing it.”
Lynzie Eliot, whose children attend Ballumbie Primary, said parents have been informed about the sick game by staff.
She said: “The head teacher said they had been advised by the police to talk to all pupils. My little girl sat in assembly in tears, terrified. It’s horrible.”
Mr Hunter insisted the council was working to help families identify the warning signs.
He said: “We are taking steps to ensure that children and parents are warned. Schools are already taking measures to protect our children online.”
Police issued a statement about the game yesterday.
It said: “Across Scotland there has been some concern about the ‘Momo’ challenge appearing across social media channels.
“The character attempts to torment and horrify the young people who watch it and has been circulating the internet for a number of years.
“Parents will naturally be concerned but we would urge you to not panic and simply take this as a chance to re-educate any young person you know about the dangers of staying safe online.”
Chief Inspector Scott Tees of Safer Communities said: “The existence of online challenges such as ‘Momo’ are clearly a matter for concern for parents however these type of so-called challenges appear every few months on the internet and we have certainly seen countless other examples over the years.
“We would encourage parents not to panic but instead sit down with their children and talk about all aspects of their online world and explain the potential dangers.
“Lots of online safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe online are available on the CEOP ThinkuKnow website.
“You can also always block or report users and videos on social networking sites if you do come across the image and are concerned.”