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How to Not Fall for Viral Scares

ALYSSA FOOTE; GETTY IMAGES

https://www.wired.com/story/momo-hoax-viral-scares-advice/

The article describes the trend of “viral media scare[s]” such as the Momo challenge, Tide Pod challenge or the Blue Whale game. The irony of viral media scares is not that such hoaxes are not real to begin with, but in that the danger they pose becomes intensified with each parent and news outlet that shares it. Instead of protecting children against these hoaxes, these warnings ironically expose them to Momo’s eerie image and its harmful demands. The article advises readers to pause before warning others of viral hoaxes, even if it is with good intentions—sharing would likely promote further misinformation and spread panic. It is also important to raise children’s awareness about detecting fake news.