Media reports about the so-called Momo suicide game – the story and the picture – are horrifying but they have no connection whatsoever with Mind Of My Own apps. The alleged WhatsApp game has a bizarre avatar depicting a grotesque woman with bulging eyes, taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi and is totally unrelated to the so-called game. It was created by a special effects company called Link Factory and was shown off in public.
The so-called WhatsApp Momo
The WhatsApp Momo purportedly targets young people. The police in Argentina are investigating whether the suicide of a 12 year old girl in the town of Ingeniero Maschwitz, near Buenos Aires, is linked to the game. There may have been someone using the image who bullied or led a child astray – but that is a specific case, unrelated to the image and probably not connected to other people using it. No link has been confirmed by authorities.
The police have not confirmed news reports linking the death of two young people in Barbosa to the ‘Momo Challenge’ in early September.
There have been no cases in Europe linking this WhatsApp group to the harming of any children.
Despite claims that the phenomenon is reaching worldwide proportions, the number of actual complaints is relatively small and no police force to date has confirmed that anyone has been actually harmed.
It is not clear whether the warnings refer to something that actually happens or are just an urban legend.
Search for ‘Mind Of My Own’
What we do know is that children and young people will in all likelihood find the image disturbing and the last thing any of us wants is for young people to be searching for Mind Of My Own’s MOMO through Google and finding the other images. During training we always advise that young people can access their own account by searching for ‘Mind Of My Own’ on the Apple store, Google Play or through their web browser. Workers are always advised to use the mini cards we provide customers that display the correct URL to find MOMO.
Actions Mind Of My Own has taken
- We have reminded people to encourage young people to search for MOMO in these ways and always to help the young person sign up for an account.
- We have changed the SEO on our website, which means the position in which MOMO is presented by a search in Google and other search engines will change. This does not happen with immediate effect but will change shortly so that our app does not appear alongside the images and news stories about this horrible WhatsApp story.
- We have placed information that differentiates Mind Of My Own MOMO app from the WhatsApp group on social media channels.
There is only one Mind Of My Own
We obviously are not associated in any way with this alleged, awful use of technology to hurt vulnerable people. Having taken advice, unfortunately there is nothing legally we are able to do about someone using the word as we don’t own the word MOMO. It is just the acronym of our company name – Mind Of My Own. We are watching this situation very closely and reports appear to have uncovered no evidence to suggest the nasty game actually exists, news stories are dying down and therefore the photos will move further down the rankings should any young people use Google to search for our apps.