Don’t tell me that you, loyal friend and reader, didn’t do a double take at the latest hoax sweeping across the plains this week. I did! Momo’s school even sent an email out to all parents!

It is a hoax, though. I mean, it’s basically a creepypasta. Like Tide pods before, and D&D being the gateway to Satanic cults before that, the interesting thing is watching news outlet after news outlet amplify each other, without actually having any original source – literal fake news – causing moral panic to spread like wildfire through the already dry tinder of the parenting hellscape. And meanwhile, some troll who slapped a weird photo onto a breathless story about children being in danger is laughing behind his computer screen at the chaos he created.

There are people out there who want to hurt kids, but they don’t look like that. They don’t look or act scary; they look like normal people. And beyond that, there’s the fact that Kids YouTube is already a firehose of contextless, unreviewed garbage masquerading as wholesome licensed content that is almost certainly detrimental, if not dangerous, to the growing mind.

At the very least, maybe this might shake a few more people into actually realizing that they need to know what their kids are consuming on the internet. Maybe we can start with scrubbing YouTube of bootleg ‘episodes’ of Peppa Pig where she murders her family, or the weirdly sexual Elsa root canal videos, or the way the whole medium encourages kids to stare endlessly into the void of unregulated content generated solely by the intersection of capitalism and moral bankruptcy.