Facebook cartoon profile picture campaign

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?

Tim Hodge

Tim Hodge

Tim Hodge lives and works in Sydney. He specialises in web content including SEO and social media. He also writes about craft beer, art, culture and football.

Feel free to contact him on Twitter @timothyhodge, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Tim Hodge

About Tim Hodge

I'm Tim, a human being living in Sydney, Australia. I spend a lot of time despairing over Leeds United and the rest of it writing, making/looking at art, reading, watching films and dabbling in SEO, social media and content marketing.
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2 Responses to Facebook cartoon profile picture campaign

  1. paula says:

    i would even argue further about donations but i am more cynical than you are 🙂

  2. Becky says:

    I agree, changing your profile picture is not going to end child abuse, but then I don’t think anyone expected it to. Charities spend millions on marketing campaigns to try and increase awareness and thus increase donations, and here is something which is free, easy and fairly progressive in it’s use of social media (possibly targeting a different audience than their usual campaigns).

    At the end of the day, due to this Facebook meme awareness of the NSPCC has indeed risen; everyone over Facebook seems to be talking about it, it is trending on Twitter, and numerous blogs are popping up all over the internet. If the NSPCC just receives a few more donations from this (which I am almost certain they will) then what harm has it done? None in my eyes!

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