Cartoon Profile Picture in Facebook – Child Abuse & the Other Side Social Media Simplify Cartoon Profile Picture in Facebook – Child Abuse & the Other Side Social Media Simplify

05 December, 2010

Cartoon Profile Picture in Facebook – Child Abuse & the Other Side


While whole the world is sloping towards the social media campaign on Facebook “Change your Facebook profile pics to a cartoon character from your childhood”, I have a little different view to present.

According to ABCNews, this campaign was started to support the cause of stopping violence against children. And initially, it started from Greece with a message to observe a profile picture change till 20th Nov, 2010. The cartoon campaign, just like the Bra-Color campaign of Jan 2010, got such a huge support that it spread worldwide within a very short span of time. And later on 19th Nov, 2010, Facebook trend observer “All Facebook” noticed a slightly different version of passing the same message as a game play. And on 4th Dec, 2010 i.e. yesterday we observed the latest version to support this cause till 6th Dec, 2010.

So, till Monday 6th Dec, you are sure to see many of your friends using cartoon heroes from their childhood on their profiles instead of their own pictures.

So, what do you think? Will this campaign really help in the great cause aimed at? Well, literally speaking, NO. It will not. It will not achieve its aim of stopping violence against children till we practically start doing what is required.

It is true that such a campaign can help raising the awareness among people. But is it just enough that we are aware? Should we stop at the point that we are aware?  What should we do and what is really possible? What are the laws and regulations regarding this? Do we really care?

These are the questions I have at this hour and from the day I came to know about this cartoon campaign.
So, in my next post for Social Media Club, I am covering these questions and related Children Online Privacy issues in accordance to the COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act, 1998)

Stay tuned for my post for SMC in the second week of December, 2010. Thanks.



  1. Good points. Actually, why doesn't fb have a main page for such awareness for "going ons" throughout its own network?
    Also, laws and rules vary throughout the world, and there must be at least one area here on fb that generates the ongoing awareness as well as giving some info on the subject.
    My thought would be to send this off to the creator of fb...
    That would help...and Yes, I do think we all care...there is just no coordination in the events.

  2. Someone sent this to me today. I ask her to find out the legality of this:

    "Did U know that the group asking everyone 2 change their profile picture 2 acartoon character is actually a group of pedophiles. They doing it because kids will accept their friend request faster if they see a cartoon picture. It has nothing 2 do with supporting child violence, it was on T.V and its on tonight's news.... put this as your status 2 warn everyone & to get them to change back"

    "But is it just enough that we are aware? (NO) Should we stop at the point that we are aware? (NO) What should we do and what is really possible? (Good Question) What are the laws and regulations regarding this? (Like to Know) Do we really care? (I do! My wife and I work with children in children's ministry. She's Ad Min to Children's Pastor and Security and Privacy is HUGE here at First Baptist Church of Orlando).


  3. @Laurie - Thanks for your thoughtful input.
    In my opinion, here we have to consider two issues.
    1st - Facebook launched itself as a networking portal turning to be the biggest Social ad portal, which directly means that people who are networked through FB are the real responsible people to do something permanent. So, we can shade off the responsibility of FB, though it is not so.

    2nd - The list of Social issues is the biggest list one can guess of on this earth. So, it is literally not possible for FB to create even a single list for each and every related issue.

    But, yes FB can and should implement some platforms where people can coordinate on such issues. Though FB has the cause platform, yet it is not that effective as it should be.

  4. @Bryan - Great to hear about you and your wife's activities. We lack people/citizens (worldwide) like you.

    Coming to the point of pedophiles, I think our main stream media is just making spicy news on it. There is no proof whether it's true or not.

    As cited in some local & international news channels, these campaigns were triggered by some groups of pedophiles. But if it is so, then:

    1. Why are they asking everybody to change their profile pictures? Rather, they would ask only the kids to do so.

    2. Why are they asking to spread it to your friends? Instead, they would ask to pass it to your kids.

    These campaigns can really create some huge levels of awareness among people. And at the same time they arouse some serious doubts too.

    Loopholes in the security & privacy attached to the use of networking sites is (I think) the main evil behind such confusions.

    So, it’s better to keep our kids safe by teaching them the basics of online security & privacy.

  5. Hi,

    A social movement is what each individual makes of it and how they personally contribute to it, not what the organization wants it to be. If changing their avatar is meaningful to them and helps them remember to talk about childhood issues, then it's working.

    Will changing your profile picture help raise awareness of an issue? Your post confirms it, indeed it will.

  6. Thank you so much Carin; your input helped me a lot.


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