Warning: This article discusses suicide and contains graphic content which may disturb some people
Fears around online suicide game Momo Challenge continue to grow after reports surfaced that it has been able to hack into popular kids' YouTube videos.
The hackers have been targeting Peppa Pig shows and Fortnite videos, two massively popular brands on the Google-owned video platform, according to the Manchester Evening News.
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Shocked parents have been sharing screenshots of the hacked YouTube videos across social media platforms after allowing their kids to watch presumably child-friendly clips.
The latest development comes after an eight-year-old boy was told by the game to hold a knife to his neck and just days after YouTube was accused of not being careful with exposing minors to objectionable content on its platform.
The terrifying face of the Momo character cuts into the video and encourages children to contact her on a WhatsApp number.
In the game, young people are encouraged to follow a series of challenges, culminating in taking their own lives. In much the same way, Momo players are reportedly threatened if they don't follow the game's orders.
The avatar for Momo is a haunting image of a woman with bulging eyes, taken from the work of Japanese artist Midori Hayashi, who has no connection to the game.
One British mother has found an ingenious way to disarm the visual effect of the Momo image with a smart use of filters and emojis.
The suicide of a 12-year-old girl in Argentina was allegedly linked to the game. The girl filmed a video on her phone shortly before she died.
It's believed the girl was encouraged to commit suicide, and police in Buenos Aires are investigating an 18-year-old teenager who allegedly contacted the 12-year-old.
The deaths of two Russian schoolgirls who fell to their death from the roof of a 14-storey apartment were also linked to the game.
Where to find help and support:
Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Samaritans - 0800 726 666
Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)