If you have ever been online, chances are you have seen an intimidating-looking masked figure like Jonathan Galindo making threats online and making threats of violence and suicide. He was affiliated with Momo Challenge – a dangerous trend encouraging self-harm and suicide that was associated with him.
Though these trends are separate, they share similar visual cues and messaging which could have serious repercussions for children and teens. Samuel Canini who created Jonathan Galindo (known as Dusky Sam) as an image has responded to its recent resurgence with concerns.
What is Jonathan Galindo?
Jonathan Galindo made headlines in 2020 for his association to an online challenge that encouraged people to self-harm. Reportedly using accounts on popular social networking websites he used these accounts to send messages directly to children encouraging them to participate in what became known as the Blue Whale Challenge.
The character resembled a sinister dog with a dark hood, who reached out to children through platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. He allegedly asked them to complete tasks which gradually increased in difficulty over 50 days until reaching a final dangerous task like self-harm or suicide.
Jonathan Galindo and the Blue Whale Challenge serve as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by social media and remind young people to exercise caution when engaging with strangers online. Additionally, it’s vital for parents to educate their children on reporting suspicious activity online as well as staying safe online.
Why is he in the news?
Jonathan Galindo is an online persona associated with the Blue Whale Challenge, an alarming internet trend believed to encourage self-harm and suicide. Wearing an unnerving dog mask, this figure contacts individuals on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok in order to request they complete dangerous tasks for him or herself.
A similar character, Freak Boy, has also been tied to the recent suicide of an 11-year-old boy in Italy. According to local media reports, it may have played a part in this death by encouraging children to perform horror-themed tasks that culminate in self-harm or even suicide.
Samuel Canini, better known online by his moniker Dusky Sam as a cosplayer and mask maker, is thought to be behind this mask. He expressed shock that his work is being exploited by cruel trolls to harass young people; therefore anyone receiving messages from this figure should contact their local police immediately and refrain from sharing personal details online.
What is the Blue Whale Challenge?
The Blue Whale Challenge is an alarming online trend which encourages children to participate in various tasks that ultimately lead them down a path toward self-harm or suicide. First reported in Russia, its presence has since spread globally resulting in multiple deaths worldwide.
Cursed Goofy (Jonathan Galindo) can often be seen posting messages and bullying children into joining this deadly game on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. He sends them warnings before forcing them into participating.
No one knows who the identity of this masked character is yet; however, Samuel Canini who created his mask expressed shock over its use by those involved with the Blue Whale Challenge or Jonathan Galindo in such ways. Samuel warned anyone receiving messages claiming to belong to these accounts to disregard it immediately and report them directly to their platform’s security team.
What is the Momo Challenge?
Momo had long been lurking in the shadows of the Internet, but its visibility gained steam late 2019 with viral stories about it prompting schools and police departments to issue warnings against what seemed to be an online challenge by accounts purporting to represent Momo that encouraged children to perform dangerous dares which may result in self-harm or suicide.
Although alarmist headlines suggest otherwise, there is little evidence of any challenge faced by Momo or Mother Bird – which was first created by Japanese artist Keisuke Aisawa and displayed at Vanilla Gallery – some reports surfaced of Momo appearing in kid-friendly YouTube videos leading to further concern among parents.
Similar hysteria has arisen recently from other viral panics such as the Tide Pod Challenge or Skull Breaker Challenge, in which dangerous stunts were posted online leading to worry from media outlets and parents – yet none of these fad challenges ever led to any documented injuries.