How YOUR kids’ cartoons could be sending them secret suicide messages

How YOUR kids’ cartoons could be sending them secret suicide messages

- in Uk News

YOU settle your toddler down for ten-minutes of Peppa Pig before nap time – but rather than seeing Peppa playing with little brother George, the cartoon character starts cutting her wrists with a razor. 

Or even worse, the clip is spliced with a chilling message calling on kids to self harm or encouraging suicide.

Disturbing videos flagged to the site include Peppa Pig appearing to self harm

This isn’t a bizarre and inappropriate storyline, but a malicious attempt by pro-suicide hackers to get small children to take their own lives.

Nor are these pro-suicide messages only to be found in Peppa Pig – episodes of cartoon Paw Patrol and video game Minecraft have also been doctored to encourage suicide.

And perhaps the worst thing about this? Complaints about YouTube videos telling kids how to slit their own wrists were first raised SEVEN MONTHS ago, but staggeringly, they continue to appear alongside genuine videos on YouTube and gaming apps.

It means kids are being ambushed with messages about suicide on sites they are accessing for free and which have no age checks.

These messages may have been seen by millions of kids – Peppa is one of the most popular kid’s cartoons, with almost 10 million people subscribing to the official YouTube channel, and one Halloween-inspired episode has had 197 million views.

This comes as the suicide rate for British children has soared.

There has been an 83 per cent rise in young girls taking their own lives over the last six years, while four school children a week kill themselves.

The Sun Online has been highlighting this as part of our You’re Not Alone campaign this week.

In a nine-second clip this man people how to self-harm


A video which cut YouTube prankster Filthy Frank into a 17-minute video of children’s Nintendo video game Splatoon sparked outrage in February this year.

In the clip, he tells children how to self-harm and nine seconds later it cuts back to footage of the game.

The shocking video was taken down by YouTube after it was featured in media reports.

But seven months on The Sun Online was able to find the same video in less than a minute reloaded under a slightly different title.

In other videos found on the platform, clips show edited footage of popular video game Minecraft featuring characters taking their own lives with weapons.

Parents have also previously complained after doctored clips of children’s cartoons have appeared alongside genuine videos on the site.

As well as the Peppa Pig clips, Paw Patrol characters are seen jumping off tall buildings after being hypnotised.

Why people make such videos is a debated topic, with the most plausible reason seeming to be it is yet another form of trolling – though this time aimed at society’s most vulnerable.

A YouTube spokesperson said the Splatoon suicide video had been mistakenly reinstated on the website but had been taken down after being contacted by The Sun Online.

A video of characters from Paw Patrol jumping off buildings was also featured alongside regular episodes


EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:


Sometimes pro-suicide messages aren’t spliced into games, but form the basis of the whole game.

Online games such as Doki Doki Literature Club are free for kids to download without any ID checks but open a door to a chilling world of suicide images.

The game has been blamed  by parents for the deaths of two children, Ben Walmsley, 15, from Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, and 12-year-old Rok Jakopovic Potz from Croatia.

The brightly-coloured game fronted by cartoon characters appears innocent at first and puts the player in the position of a school pupil writing poetry to make friends and impress girls.

But the game descends into a psychological horror around themes of self-harming and suicide.

The game takes the player’s character to the home of their best friend, who they find has killed herself
The haunting scenario sees the character blame themselves for her death

The key signs your child is at risk of suicide

Mental health disorders don’t just affect adults, kids are at risk too.

Children as young as two are even said to be suffering, with the NHS previously stating one in eight kids has a mental illness.

Mental health problems can lead to suicidal thoughts, so here are the key signs to watch out for:

  1. Bad mood that won’t go away
  2. Tearful or emotional outbursts
  3. Lack of interest in fun things they used to love
  4. Feeling tired all the time
  5. Eating less or binge eating
  6. Trouble sleeping
  7. Lack of concentration
  8. Low self-esteem

In one scenario, the main character’s friend does not turn up to school and the game takes them to the friend’s house to visit them.

When the character arrives the bedroom light is off and the friend is not responding. When the light is switched on the friend is found hanged in a room full of posters and children’s toys.

Another scene sees a schoolgirl – hinted to have a troubled home life – showing her knife.

When your character accidentally cuts themselves with it, she licks the blood from the character’s fingers.

The same girl later self-harms with blade before killing herself with it.

A character who earlier in the game shows off her knife to you eventually takes her own life using it
Later in the game, the character plunges a knife into her own chest
The poems the in-game characters share with you throughout become increasingly disturbing, with this one repeatedly saying: 'Get out of my head'
The game is based around poetry which becomes increasingly disturbing

Ben’s school Philips High in Whitefield and Greater Manchester Police both put out warnings about Doki Doki Literature Club after his death.

His inquest heard the schoolboy had become ‘obsessed’ with it in the weeks before he took his own life.

A coroner said she could find ‘no direct links’ between the game and his death but that the game’s content had the potential to influence vulnerable youngsters.

Ben’s dad Darren Walmsley said his son was ‘dragged in’ to the dark game and would be woken in the night with updates coming through to his phone.

Ben Walmsley, from Bury, Greater Manchester, died in February 2018 and his dad has spoken out about the game
MEN Media
Rok Jakopović Potz, 12, took his own life in February 2018 this year – just two months after he began playing the game

Rok’s mum Mihaela Potz told The Sun Online there was a similar pattern around her son’s death.

She said: “In the last month of his life he changed a little bit, he became darker inside.

“There were many things happening with my son and Doki Doki is just one part of it. As parents we need to speak out about this.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Cybersecurity expert Urban Schrott, who warns games like this will always be available on the internet – and it’s up to parents to ensure their kids are safe.

“For parents, mobile devices and computers have become a free nanny,” he says.

“However, parents then forget it’s not only fun and games online.

“Unless parents know there are things going on out there that they can warn kids about, then bad things can happen.”


If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

He adds that spying on children isn’t the answer, as if they find out they’ll probably become more secretive.

Instead parents need to educate themselves.

“What could work is more parental involvement, more knowing about these issues and explaining them, just like in real life when parents have to explain to kids the dangers of drugs or drinking or other dangerous activities,” he says.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans on (free) 116123

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