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More and more kids are spending time online and they keep getting younger. Their minds are moldable, so there is a ton of programming for them to watch. Unfortunately, there are some people doing some pretty scary stuff to take advantage of that and parents may not be aware of it. In the last week alone I have heard about 3 such things and putting aside my question about what kind of people would do this stuff, as a mom it terrifies me. I wanted to make sure all parents are aware of what's happening and are able to keep their kids safe.

In the past week, I have heard about a rogue episode of the popular kids show Peppa Pig. Looks good for the first few minutes but just as parents stop paying attention, Peppa goes on to torture, have characters drinking bleach, and then eating her father. Then I heard about instructions on how to slit one's wrists posted in a cartoon on YouTube about 5 minutes in. Then the scariest of all. A terrifying video circulating the web is encouraging children to kill themselves, called the ‘MoMo Challenge.’ A creepy, bugged-eyed woman instructs children on how to take their own lives. It also threatens them into keeping silent and not tell their parents or face dire consequences. Parents who hear about it and ask their children about Momo end up with terrified reactions and panic attacks. All of these have been found on YouTube Kids, a site specifically designed for kids content and games like Fortnite.

YouTube has said it's taken steps to add more moderation and step up enforcement of guidelines for videos aimed at children and that the video site is not intended for kids under 13.

They can't catch it all and there will always be monsters who want to terrify our kids, so it's up to us to be vigilant and monitor what our kids are doing online. What kinds of steps do you take with your kids at home to try and protect them from the darker side of the World Wide Web? is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.