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Facebook cartoon profile picts cause confusion

You may have seen the viral campaign on Facebook asking users to change their profile picture to a cartoon character from their childhood. The campaign purports to rally support against child abuse, but nobody seems to know where the request originates and there is some speculation that it even makes it easier for pedophiles to find children on Facebook.

No one has come forward to claim responsibility for the campaign. The NSPCC posted the following statement on its Twitter page: ‘Although the NSPCC did not originate the childhood cartoon Facebook campaign, we welcome the attention it has brought to the work we do.’

But one Facebooker asked: ‘How is this gonna help stop child abuse? Sounds like something a paedophile would do!’

Sounds like a big lemming exercise. In full disclosure, I did change my personal Facebook profile to Launchpad McQuack.

Community Comments

#1 Tom Pappalardo
December/6/2010
@ 10:02 am

Well, in the “raises awareness” sense, I think it does a meme’s job and gets the word out, and doesn’t actually require a central organizer to make it valid. But in general, it seems dumb and rather pointless, like most memes.

#2 Ben McCormick
December/6/2010
@ 10:05 am

If it raised awareness then good, I can’t complain about that. To me it just seemed like another act of slacktivism so people could tell themselves that they had done something and feel warm and fuzzy. I didn’t change my profile picture but that’s more about me being lazy than anything else. What we did do is what we do every year and continued donating to the local battered women & children shelter.

#3 August J. Pollak
December/6/2010
@ 10:23 am

I was wondering why there wasn’t any child abuse anywhere in the world this morning.

#4 Stacy Curtis
December/6/2010
@ 12:00 pm

Oh my gawd, the children of FarmVille are in danger!

#5 PhilWohlrab
December/6/2010
@ 1:08 pm

I thought it was a campaign to raise peoples awareness of 80s cartoons. (I changed mine to “The Real Ghostbusters”)

#6 Chad Welch
December/6/2010
@ 1:56 pm

Yeeeeah…I changed mine to the Ruby-Spears Superman about three weeks ago, before the cause of Child Abuse got tagged to the ass end of the meme, and kinda ruining it.

However, I can say that my profile pic on Facebook has been a cartoon of some kind or another for the better part of three years.

#7 Terry LaBan
December/6/2010
@ 3:51 pm

So, if you post a picture of Phineas and/or Ferb you might be in trouble, but if you post one of Hong Kong Fuey you get a pass?

#8 Alex Hallatt
December/6/2010
@ 4:35 pm

Ah, that’s what is going on… a childhood friend of mine picked one of my cartoons for her profile picture and I didn’t know why… thanks!

#9 John Cole
December/6/2010
@ 9:41 pm

Launchpad Mc-who?

#10 Mike Peterson
December/7/2010
@ 4:38 am

I changed mine when it was simply about changing your pic to a cartoon from your childhood. Which, in my case, isn’t the 80s. I was almost tempted to change it back when the “good cause” glurge got added on.

#11 rick stromoski
December/7/2010
@ 6:15 am

Maybe it should be a Catholic priest from your childhood.

#12 R Pyle
December/7/2010
@ 10:10 am

Children on Facebook — all pedophiles aside, let’s address that concept for a moment.

Children under 13 are not allowed on Facebook. It’s part of their Terms of Service. However, I am constantly hearing from parents saying how mature their kid is, or that all their friends have FB, and I have seen children as young as 5 actively utilizing FB accounts.

These folks would never knowingly admit a pedophile to their living room, but here they are, allowing their kids to roam freely.

Did pedophiles start this campaign? I sincerely doubt it. It’s just another “chain letter”.

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