We recently covered the news that talk of the Momo challenge had once again resurfaced, with the Northern Ireland police issuing a warning to parents about the viral Internet phenomenon.
Well, with Michael Jackson currently trending across the Internet due to the recent Leaving Neverland docuseries, it looks like someone has attempted to capitalize off the online traffic by creating this strange video "challenge."
TL;DR A new Internet phenomenon threatens the arrival a terrifying Michael Jackson lookalike at 3 AM if you're not asleep. Police in Mexico and elsewhere are warning parents to speak with their children before they are impacted with fear, loss of sleep and anxiety.
The premise of the Michael Jackson fear-monger meme is much like the chain-mail threats of the early Internet... if you don't fall asleep before 3 AM this frightening Michael Jackson lookalike will appear in your house shouting the pop star's signature "hee hee."
The viral "challenge" is being called "Ayuwoki"- a semi-phonetic spelling of the lyric, "are you okay?" from Jackson's song Smooth Criminal.
With the Momo challenge, the scary-looking girl apparently encourages children to follow-through with increasingly dangerous challenges. While Momo is unsettling to look at, the threat really lies in the power of online peer pressure that children can feel.
With this new Michael Jackson meme, the danger is even more psychological.
As explained by the State Cyber Police of Baja California Sur above, children and adolescents may seek to share the meme because it's going viral and is popular right now, but it has the potential to propagate sleep disorders, panic and anxiety.
Anyone who is up till 3 AM and trying to fall asleep doesn't need the added stress of thinking some scary singing demon is going to show up just because they couldn't fall asleep.
As adults, this thought-process sounds ridiculous, but kids are gullible and potentially superstitious, which lends itself to this kind of viral phenomenon. If you ever sent one of those e-mails along then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
According to the Daily Mail, this "challenge" actually originated in 2009 after Jackson's death, with the bizarre re-creation of the late singer performing his signature dance moves.