DICT to continue conduct of ‘digital parenting’ conferences

Published March 1, 2019, 11:42 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Philippine News Agency

MANILA — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will continue to conduct digital parenting conferences, which are aimed at helping parents in monitoring the online activities of their children following the viral ‘Momo Challenge’ on social media.

Department of Information and Communications Technology DICT logo
Department of Information and Communications Technology DICT logo (MANILA BULLETIN)

The ‘Momo Challenge’ and other online challenges had reportedly lead to self-harm and suicide among the youth.

“It is our fervent hope that parents play an active role in monitoring their kids online as the greatest influence to children is not the government nor the schools, it’s them — the parents,” DICT Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies Allan Cabanlong said in a statement on Friday.

The department’s Cybersecurity Division is currently monitoring the situation and will be crafting policies and technical remedies to address the issue.

“We will continue our efforts in making the cyberspace a safe place, especially for our children but we need the cooperation of the parents. They should be mindful of the activities of their children online,” DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said in a separate statement.

The department has conducted three Digital Parenting Conferences nationwide last year.

For this year, the Cybersecurity Bureau is eyeing to conduct the forum in the provinces, starting with Cagayan de Oro on April 4.

The “Momo Challenge” first made headlines in July 2018 when it was noticed by a known YouTube user.

Later, a 12-year-old Argentine girl was reported dead after she was allegedly persuaded to do self-harm and take her own life by a grotesque-looking female figure through the mobile messaging application, “WhatsApp”.

However, authorities have yet to find a link between the trending “suicide game” and the unlikely death of the victim – and that of the reported cases of “Momo Challenge” casualties in Brazil, Canada, Colombia, and Europe.