Administrators of Facebook pages created to encourage the cartoon campaign are making statements in an effort to deflate the pedophile rumor swirling around the Internet.
According to the rumor, the Facebook campaign, which encourages Facebook users to change their profile pictures to cartoon characters to promote awareness about child abuse, is a front for a pedophile ring.
According to users, the cartoon one chooses to replace their photo can reveal the age of the user to others, making it easier for pedophiles to identify children and young adults.
Facebook Cartoon Campaign: Run By Pedophiles?
But administrators of the pages, which have gained more than 145,000 “likes” collectively, say that simply is not true.
Administrators on one page titled “Change your profile picture to a cartoon campaign” wrote: “This Page Is Not A Pedophile Page Its Just Lots Of People Abused This Page That Made Issues World Wide (sic).”
On the page titled “Campaign to End Violence Against Children – Childhood Cartoon Faces” administrators wrote: “This campaign is brought up as a response to the increasing cases of child abuse in our country, the Philippines. … Also, this page is NOT created or admin by a group of pedophiles as what other people spread about.”
Even Facebook spokesman Simon Axten has jumped into the rumor, trying to dispel the myth that the campaign is associated with pedophiles.
“This rumor is false,” Axten told FoxNews.com. “Thousands of people have taken up the campaign, none of whom can be identified as either young or old based on the profile picture chosen.”
Facebook Pedophile Rumor Reported by Tabloid
The rumor was originally reported in the UK’s Daily Mail tabloid.
“Rumors are now sweeping the net that the campaign is actually a smokescreen for pedophiles hoping to narrow down which users are children,” the article reported.
The rumor hasn’t gained traction with everyone, though. Popular blog Gawker published an article called “Moments in Idiocy: Are Pedophiles Behind the Cartoon Character Facebook Campaign?” and called the report “the stupidest rumor I ever heard.”
Regardless of the origins of the campaign, some child advocacy groups have gotten behind the idea, promoting the cartoon campaign through Twitter and other media. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was one of these groups.
“Although the NSPCC did not originate the childhood cartoon Facebook campaign, we welcome the attention it has brought to the work we do,” the NSPCC tweeted.
Campaign to End Violence Against Children – Childhood Cartoon Faces Facebook page.
Change your profile picture to a cartoon campaign” wrote Facebook page.
“Moments in Idiocy: Are Pedophiles Behind the Cartoon Character Facebook Campaign?” Gawker.com, Dec. 6, 2010.
Liu, Alec. “Facebook Debunks Rumor that Pedophiles Are Behind Cartoon Profile Campaign.” Foxnews.com, Dec. 6, 2010.
Nelson, Sarah. “Facebook cartoon character campaign ‘nothing to do with the NSPCC,’ charity says.” Dailymail.co.uk, Dec. 6, 2010.