Video clips promoting the sinister “suicide game” known as Momo challenge are being spliced into seemingly innocent videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids. These include episodes of popular children’s TV shows such as Peppa Pig , as well as “surprise eggs”, unboxing videos and Minecraft videos, according to online safety experts. The clips feature a chilling doll-like figure called Momo, with bulging eyes and a toothless smile, who encourages children to add her as a contact on WhatsApp. Once contact has been made, “Momo” hounds them with violent images and threats on WhatsApp, daring them to carry out acts of self-harm – and eventually suicide. Schools and police have now started warning parents about the so-called “challenge”, amid reports that it is gaining popularity in the UK. But how are these video clips bypassing YouTube Kids’ age filters? YouTube Kids is an app developed by YouTube aimed at delivering age-appropriate content to children over 13. The app is available on Android, iOS and some Smart TVs. Videos available in the app are determined by a mix of human supervised machines, user input and human review, according to YouTube. That means the app is predominantly curated by a computer algorithm, which… Read full this story
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