kids

A six-year-old girl was watching Peppa Pig when a terrifying character flashed onto her screen.

Six-year-old Bre-Andria Roussell was watching a Peppa Pig video on YouTube Kids when a terrifying face appeared on her screen.

It was Momo – an internet character that a sinister individual or group has created using the appropriated art of a Japanese artist as part of a “game” that encourages self-harm. Momo appears to have enlarged eyes, a thin smile and a bird-like body.

The Louisiana girl told her mum, Brittany Roussell, about the scary moment, which the 27-year-old has now shared in a video posted to Facebook.

In the clip, Bre-Andria explains what the character does.

“She could be in your dreams or she could kill you,” she says.

“When you call her she’s going to answer and then hang up – and then it can start getting freaky.

“You’re going to text her if we could be friends and she will say: ‘Yes, we can be best friends’.

“But when you come to her house, when she sends you the address, she’s gonna actually kill you.”

Thankfully, the little girl knows the app and the person behind it is malicious.

“I don’t do that app because I don’t want to get killed. I don’t want that to happen to me so make sure y’all stay safe, OK?”

But other children haven’t been so aware.

what is momo
A warning about Momo released by Mexican authorities in 2018.

The Momo "game", which has been targetting children through social media since at least July 2018, has been linked to the deaths of at least three teens in South America.

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Reports vary wildly, but it's thought the "game" could have encouraged hundreds, if not thousands, of kids to commit various acts of self-harm.

Much like the infamous Blue Whale challenge, which is believed to be responsible for the deaths of 130 teens in Russia in 2016, Momo works by giving children orders of actions to carry out that become increasingly dangerous until the point where it asks them to take their own life.

Brittany said she felt "sick to her stomach" when her daughter told her about the video, which was obviously not made by the company behind Peppa Pig. She wanted to share her daughter's experience in an effort to warn others kids and parents.

And it seems there may be far more videos on the platform containing similar messages.

momo
Bre-Andria Roussell told her mum what she saw. Image: Getty.

A Florida doctor and mum has found footage of a man offering instructions on how to commit suicide spliced a few minutes into gameplay videos and other innocent child-aimed clips, The Washington Post reports.

"I was shocked," Free Hess said. "I think it's extremely dangerous for our kids."

A spokesperson for YouTube told the Post the company has rules against videos that encourage harm and are constantly removing clips that break their strict policies.

However, she said YouTube relies on user flagging, as well as smart detection technology, to find these videos.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, you are urged to phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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