Facebook Cartoons Display-Picture game is– Fake!

Posted by Knonie

On Thursday, 2nd December, 2010, I noticed a note as a Facebook status update of a friend from US, that goes like this:

LET’S KEEP THIS GOING! ♥ Change your FB profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal? To not see a human face on FB til Monday, December 6th. Join the fight against CHILD ABUSE. Copy & paste to your staus to invite your friends to do the same.

It appeared to me like a fun game someone has invented, and has tried to give it a touch of a Serious Cause, so that people will feel relieved after taking part in it…
And fortunately… it worked!!!

On next 3 days, that message started to increase gradually and rapidly, and as I usually notice, the Original statement seemed to be slightly altered. The most obvious amendment has the word “Child Abuse” changed into “Child Violence” because “Child Abuse” sounds quite an Adult word and some person thought about replacing it.

Here’s the screenshot of my account with non-cartoon faces blurred:

And here you can see Aladdin, The Lion King, The Flintstones, Ninja Turtles, Batman, Dexter, and so much…

The next common version seemed an even more refined piece of writing, by talking about the terms like “no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories…”, and the usual “Copy & Paste it” got transformed into more serious and polite way , i.e. “invite your friends to do the same.” Apart from these minor tweaks in syntax, it has now got an association with an organization, NSPCC [National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, UK]. Now that was a way to make it look even more authentic.

So, the final version became this:

Change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same, for the NSPCC. Until Monday (December 6th), there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories. This is a campaign to stop violence against children.

And as funny as seems, when some Organization is involved in some fake campaign, the news would obviously reach them, so they took a notice of it, and published this clarification note on their official Facebook page:

A warm welcome to all our cartoon friends! We are incredibly grateful for your support to end cruelty to children in the UK. Although the NSPCC did not originate the childhood cartoon Facebook campaign, we welcome the attention it has brought to the work we do. If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved, please visit our website. http://www.nspcc.org.uk/

So this game somehow helped them during the final days. Since it’s not anything offending to them, but a sort of helping them, so they welcomed it but shared the URL of their website that if someone really wants to help, he should better visit the details and do something practical against child violence.

Now, when it was an obvious game and not a serious campaign, I further researched and found that ABC News has also published an article about it that states even more older versions, rather Origin of that campaign. According to them, the original message was this, without any “Child-Violence” attached, on 19th November, 2010:

“NewGame: Change your profile picture to your favorite cartoon from when you were a kid. The goal of this game is not to see a human picture on Facebook, but an invasion of childhood memories until Monday. PLAY AND PASS ALONG!”

And then it got evolved and evolved and we already know what it finally turned into.

When I asked few of the users that this campaign is fake, they have nothing else to say other than “OK! It’s fake. But we’re doing it just for fun“. When asked what’s the attachment of this fun has to do with Child-Abuse, they preferred not to answer about this saying it’s their personal matter.

So in the end, this campaign became similar to few others we have seen in the past about breast cancer awareness, but let’s not talk about this now.


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