The Pennsylvania State Police are questioning whether or not children are actually in danger and falling prey to the so-called MoMo challenge.

Kathy Whyte/WNBF News

The online challenge shows a cartoon woman with distorted features threatening a curse on social platforms unless children follow directions to commit acts of violence or harm themselves or others.  The reports of the videos popping up on YouTube Facebook and other social media sites used by children have been widely circulated on local and national television.

The State Police say there has been almost no direct evidence such a challenge exists and calls the MoMo Challenge “less of a threat and more of a phenomenon that has simply taken on a life of its own.”

The Community Awareness Bulletin from the Pennsylvania State Police acknowledges several social media challenges and pranks recently that are dangerous and encourage risky behaviors in order to get online “clicks.”  Authorities say parents should always keep track of what their children are viewing and doing online and encourage internet sites to be vigilant in policing inappropriate content.

Among other things, authorities say parents should start a conversation around appropriate online behavior and make sure children know who they can talk to about a situation they don’t know how to handle.