By Staff Writer Eric Sousa.
There are a few unstoppable forces in this world: hurricanes, climate change, and aggravated mothers on social media to name a few. Recently one of those three has been up in arms towards an internet sensation known as Momo. While Momo itself has been debunked, many other dark corners of the internet continue to exist and raise the question: should parents govern what their children do on the internet?
The start to this wave of controversy came from a particularly terrifying photograph of a nightmarish woman, with a large smile and eyes the size of dinner plates.
According to internet myth, this horrifying image would be “hacked” into people’s Whatsapp accounts, Instagram, and Snapchat. In addition, apparent findings of this creepypasta could be found in new children’s movies as well. The gimmick was this creepy picture would accompany instructions for children to commit self-harm, and was rumored to be connected to a string of youth suicides. However, none of these rumors were ever founded.
Despite the wave of attention I’m sure we’ve all seen in our newsfeeds, rest assured that it has entirely no base. No, this is an internet fad that exists simply to exist, without any actual provable substance. Kim Kardashian, another internet fad with no actual provable substance, was a staunch defender of Momo victims… before it came to light that there were no legitimate cases other than hearsay. The internet was, yet again, taken for a ride on a scary internet rabbit-hole that never existed in the first place.
This Momo fad conveniently came to light shortly after another dark story from the internet emerged. However, the story that Momo seemingly replaced was different; there was substantial proof, it was darker, and it was well within the realm of possibility.
Youtube has been under scrutiny for children-related inappropriate behavior.
Some of the offenses include videos with timestamps of filmed children in suggestive poses. If you type in, “children in sexy poses” on Youtube (I didn’t actually do this, please don’t do this) you would be shown a litany of videos with intentional timestamps that could be considered pornographic in different circumstances.
The comment sections on these videos are equally as horrifying, with user-given timestamps to their favorite “scenes.”
While these basement cretins don’t deserve an ounce of limelight besides possible jail time, the question that is poses certainly does: should children’s use of the internet be monitored to prevent future controversies from occurring? What could be done about it?
I think it is important to recognize there is an offending party in all of this… but it isn’t the children. After all, children aren’t recording themselves and uploading videos for the grotesque enjoyment of an anonymous herd of incels. Children aren’t deciding to place themselves in precarious situations. Those are the trustworthy “grown-ups” in charge of caring for these children, whether they’re family or parents or guardians.
I find it ludicrous to implicate blame to the children for the situation they’re in. It makes as much sense as mocking kids for participation trophies; it’s not as if it’s a child-run league, with toddlers deciding to take the easy way out. Nope, those are lazy parents. It’s not as if it was children spreading the wildfire of concern towards Momo hysteria; yet again, those were parents too lazy to do research.
And in the same token, but with much more dire consequence, it isn’t the children that are uploading videos for a repulsive adult audience; no, yet again those are the ‘adults.’
All three of these instances seem to have a similar fallback: how do we teach children to not be caught in these situations?
To me, it seems like this would be a more appropriate question: how do we hold the adults responsible?