Huggy Wuggy: what DSLs need to know about the rise in disturbing social media trends
It seems that a new viral phenomenon appears every couple of years, spreading fear and concern throughout parents and schools, like the Momo challenge back in 2019. This time parents and teachers are expressing their concerns over a new character from a PC horror game, which is gaining popularity on platforms like YouTube and TikTok.
The rise in popularity of this disturbing character provides a new challenge for DSLs – how to identify if children are in danger, and how to filter out the noise?
How is this affecting children?
The game, ‘Poppy Playtime’, sees its players solve a string of puzzles and try to survive the night in an abandoned toy factory, whilst being chased by a character titled ‘Huggy Wuggy’. Huggy Wuggy stands 10 feet tall with long arms, a blue body and rows of razor-sharp teeth. His character sings a song in the background of the game, which claims that he will hug you until you die.
Due to its ‘cute’ name, videos of Huggy Wuggy are appearing on the YouTube and TikTok feeds of very young children. ‘Free Hugs’ is appearing to be the most popular video-based around the character, amassing over 2.7 million views on YouTube. Other videos of the large blue character show it in compromising scenarios, that ultimately result in gory endings.
These videos have created a ‘Huggy Wuggy challenge’ in and around schools throughout the UK, with reports of children asking their friends for hugs and then proceeding to whisper vulgar things about killing them in their ears.
Helping DSLs to see and address Huggy Wuggy content in school
Digital monitoring will alert you when ‘Huggy Wuggy’ is typed into a school device, anytime, anywhere. Armed with this visibility, DSLs can identify those students at risk and take the appropriate action as soon as an event occurs. It also enables DSLs to hold appropriate education based conversations with those involved and the wider school, therefore raising awareness and education levels around safer behaviours online.
Want to find out more about Smoothwall Monitor?
If you’re new to digital monitoring, Smoothwall’s free ‘Complete Guide to Monitoring in Education’ whitepaper is available to download here.
Alternatively, book a free demo with one of Smoothwall’s digital monitoring experts below: