Momo challenge: Disturbing image tells children to do terrible things on YouTube videos

Children encouraged to self-harm, hurt others

DETROIT – A disturbing image making its rounds in videos is encouraging children to self-harm and hurt other people.

Dubbed the "Momo challenge," a creepy face appears in videos on sites such as YouTube to tell children to do bad things in order to avoid being cursed. A video could seem harmless, then suddenly the face is onscreen.

The face of Momo originated from a sculpture by a Japanese artist. It was first used to communicate with people on WhatsApp and Facebook, telling them to do harmful things to themselves or others and provide photo proof.

The Momo challenge hasn't been linked to any deaths in the United States, but police are still warning parents to monitor the videos their children are watching. Parents are also reminded to teach their children not to talk to strangers online.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.