Turkish deputy minister warns against ‘Momo’ game linked to suicide of Argentine teen
Turkey’s Deputy Transformation and Infrastructure Minister Ömer Fatih Sayan has warned parents to keep an eye on what their children are doing in the digital world after an online suicide game called “Momo” appeared on YouTube.
“The Information and Communication Technologies Authority [BTK] and other public bodies coordinated by our ministry are in an all-out fight to protect our children from dangers like Momo,” Sayan said on his Twitter account on March 7.
“Families especially should pay extra attention to these types of menaces that target our children’s security. We should not leave our children on their own in a digital world in which they cannot fully comprehend the risks,” he said.
Sayan also urged the families to enable parental protection systems on electronic gadgets.
“Be sure that the child profile, as well as the watch history is switched on,” he added.
The deputy minister also stressed that instead of prohibiting children, informing and directing them in the right direction is a more healthy approach.
The character “Momo,” created by a Japanese special effect company, has buggy eyes, a disproportionate big mouth and a body similar to a chicken’s.
“Momo” reportedly appears as commercial in seemingly innocent videos on YouTube, sets challenges for children, including self-harm, that leads to suicidal thoughts and attempts.
The disturbing challenges have recently been linked to the death of a 12-year Argentinian girl.
But YouTube has announced that no evidence was found regarding the challenge and that videos encouraging harmful challenges were against the platform’s broadcasting policy.