How Many People Died From Momo?

March 17, 2024

If you follow any kind of social media, you may have seen the creepy image of a woman with bulging eyes and grotesque features that's sparking moral panic around the world. It's called Momo, and it's said to be a character that appears in children's videos on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook and tries to trick them into committing dangerous or deadly acts. Some of the acts it suggests they do include harming their family or themselves or taking part in a suicide challenge.

As a result, schools and police departments have issued warnings, and even celebrities like Kim Kardashian have shared them. But how many people actually died from Momo? And is the hysteria justified?

The myth of Momo began with a photo that was uploaded to the r/creepy subreddit in August 2016. It didn't gain wide attention until news reports started surfacing in Latin America last summer claiming that a WhatsApp game called "Momo" was responsible for a 12-year-old girl's suicide. That claim was never confirmed, but it prompted more rounds of fearful reporting that Momo is a real threat to kids online.

"A lot of these kinds of things are terrifying to parents because they don't have the ability to think through it," says a local mother named Pearl Woods. She's careful about what her 12-year-old daughter watches online and has multiple parental settings, but she knows how easy it is to get sucked into something without much knowledge or control. She says her daughter has a mental health condition, and Momo's suggestion that she hurt herself or others is particularly disturbing.


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