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Big Revolution - Forget Momo, well-meaning adults are the real scare

Welcome to Thursday's newsletter. In yesterday's edition I talked about how I wished it wasn't summer
February 28 · Issue #359 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Thursday’s newsletter. In yesterday’s edition I talked about how I wished it wasn’t summer in February, but looking at the grey skies today, at least an early dose of spring would be nice.
– Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Apple is laying off staff in its self-driving car division, the company has confirmed. There’s little clear information available about what ‘Project Titan’ is currently working on.
  • Motorola’s upcoming revival of the RAZR brand is likely to take the form of a foldable phone. Motorola is now owned by Lenovo.
  • Alt-right YouTube accounts now receive fewer automated recommendation on the platform, a study has found. YouTube has been revising recommendations to stop conspiracy theories and other unhealthy information spreading widely.
The big thought
I refuse.
Forget Momo, well-meaning adults are the real scare
You’d think if a hoax was going around scaring kids, the worst thing you could do as an adult would be to treat it as a real thing, thus scaring kids even more.
But that’s what’s happened as the ‘Momo Challenge’ has returned. This urban myth claims online videos aimed at children are being 'hijacked’ (somehow?) to include a character called 'Momo’ who encourages children to hurt or kill themselves or others. Disturbing stuff indeed – if there was any evidence at all it was real.
“The Samaritans and the NSPCC have dismissed the claims, saying that while there is no evidence that the Momo challenge has initially caused any harm itself, the ensuing media hysteria could now be putting vulnerable people at risk by encouraging them to think of self-harm…
"The rumour mill appears to have created a feedback loop, where news coverage of the Momo challenge is prompting schools or the police to warn about the supposed risks posed by the Momo challenge, which has in turn produced more news stories warning about the challenge.”
So, a combination of news reports from publishers hungry for clicks about a topic people are searching for, plus concerned parents, teachers and police unquestioningly passing on the warning, has turned a hoax into something that little bit more real. That in turn has made the whole thing more widely known, and scarier for kids.
If you’re a parent, the best thing you can do is assure your child the Momo Challenge isn’t a real thing, and that people are getting scared over nothing. Encourage them to let you know if they see anything that worries or scares them online – that’s just good parenting – but it seems it’s not just children who need a lesson in responsible, safe internet use.
One big read
Revolut insiders reveal the human cost of a fintech unicorn's wild rise Revolut insiders reveal the human cost of a fintech unicorn's wild rise
This will be no surprise to those with their ear to the ground, but working culture at London-based challenger bank Revolut is far from perfect. “Applicants asked to work for free, rudeness, and high staff turnover tarnish the fintech startup’s success story.”
One big tweet
Jon Russell
Weirdest C-level appoint: Line now has a "Chief WOW Officer"
9:20 AM - 28 Feb 2019
That’s all for today...
Back tomorrow with Friday’s edition. Have a good day!
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