Occasionally something comes along which concerns me enough to write about it. Anyone plugged into the matrix of social networking can hardly fail to have noticed a trend of people changing their profile pictures to characters from children’s cartoons.
This is a campaign against child abuse by somehow reminding people that “we were all children once” through “an invasion of memories”. The aim is for there to be no human faces on Facebook until Monday December 6th.
I’m afraid to inform the creators of this campaign that they shall not be reaching that goal.
Just in case anyone needs clarification, yes I am human and yes I do find child abuse abhorrent, obviously. I also understand that this campaign is well intentioned. However, changing my profile picture to Pikachu or Bagpuss isn’t going to stop it. Now if everyone who is participating in this campaign – and it seems as if a large proportion of my Facebook friends are – were to donate money to NSPCC then I would be right behind them. However, I suspect they are not. And this is where my objection lies. How many of those cartoon avatars are doing this for the children? How many of those even know why they have changed their picture?
Demonstrations like this are pointless. They do nothing. If I could forward a chain e-mail and it would literally stop AIDS, I would but it won’t. This is a vulgar fake activism that does more for the individual than for the cause it claims to fight for.
It’s quite worrying if we need to exclaim our disgust at child abuse. This campaign is hardly raising awareness; at least I was already aware child abuse occurs so therefore assume others are equally enlightened. If you really want to make a difference donate to NSPCC. Don’t just change your picture to look cool.
On a more personal, flippant note, I find the use of Moomins pictures particularly ironic. Is there a more disturbing children’s cartoon out there?