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Suicide 'game' called 'Momo' targets teens through social media

(KXMD / WEHT) - There's a disturbing suicide "game" spreading through WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube called "Momo."

It has police and other authorities concerned around the world.

The game uses as its main character, or "avatar," the sculpted image of a woman with grotesque features and bulging eyes, taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who is not associated with the game in any way.

The sculpture was nicknamed "Momo," and the game takes its name from this.

Would be "players" are encouraged to add to their contacts one of several numbers associated with the game.

The game "controller" then sends violent images to the person over the messaging app, claims to know personal things about the "player," and threatens the player if they don't follow "orders."

Players are often asked to kill themselves or post images and videos showing themselves committing suicide.

Authorities say it is similar to another social media-based suicide "game" called "Blue Whale" that is linked to hundreds of teen deaths in Russia.

According to the Buenos Aires Times, police in the town of Ingeniero Maschwitz, Argentina are investigating whether a 12-year-old girl was motivated to take her own life because of the "Momo" game.

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(This story was originally published August 3, 2018)


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