Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Clare Cllr. Cathal Crowe says a new social media challenge which encourages children to self-harm further highlights the need for the government to appoint a Digital Safety Commissioner.

The Momo challenge has gone viral in recent days, sparking fear among parents across the country.

Cllr. Crowe explained, “Parents are genuinely worried about their children being targeted through apps and online gaming sites.  This latest challenge apparently encourages children to carry out dangerous tasks, which may in some instances include self-harm.  The situation is sufficiently serious for the Gardaí to express concern about the challenge on its online platforms.

“Fianna Fáil has been calling for the establishment of a Digital Safety Commissioner for well over a year now but the government is continuing to drag its heels.  Only last month I highlighted a Snapchat ‘fight club’ that was operating in the South Clare/Limerick City area.  After I reported the club to the Gardaí it was closed down.

“It’s not unrealistic to think that there are other underground clubs operating around the country and recording fights to share on apps and online platforms.

“We now know we cannot rely on social media sites to regulate themselves. We need to prioritise children’s and public safety, and the first step towards creating a safe online society is to establish a Digital Safety Commissioner,” concluded Cllr. Crowe.