Parents: don’t panic about Momo worry about YouTube Kids instead | Keza MacDonald

One is a viral hoax. The other is rife with distressing and disturbing content, says Keza MacDonald, the Guardians video games editor I first heard about Momo in my local parents WhatsApp group. Someone had screenshotted a Facebook post about a creepy puppet that supposedly appeared in unsuspecting childrens phone messages and spliced into YouTube videos, dispensing advice on self-harm and violent acts. I reacted with suspicion: this would hardly be the first time that something on Facebook was indeed a hoax, a viral shock-story driven by a frightening image and well-intentioned worry about childrens safety online. There have been videos on YouTube Kids with suicide advice spliced into otherwise innocuous cartoons as a malicious joke they just dont involve …