First it was where do you like your purse, now it’s change your profile picture on Facebook to your favorite cartoon character from your childhood in support of a campaign to stop violence against children. The goal is for there to be no human faces on Facebook until Monday, Dec. 6, and that there be a human blackout on the social network, thus flooding the site with an invasion of childhood memories. Members of Facebook are also encouraging their friends to do the same and create a chain reaction channeling through the entire network until every “friend” is aware of the campaign.
Most of the cartoon characters being searched on Google are from Nickelodeon. Rugrats was a favorite of just about every ’90s child. It appears as though the cartoon about babies has been resurrected and is leading the pack in profile picture changes for the campaign. Hey Arnold, a cartoon about a football-headed character, has also been tapped. Doug, our favorite dino-age pals The Flintstones, “happy-happy-joy-joy” Ren and Stimpy, the provoking Betty Boop, Bobby’s World, and many other old favorites have been revived for the sake of the campaign. Disney Characters Like Ariel, Snow White, and Cinderella are also making their rounds.
It’s hard to tell if an influx of man-made characters and artistic drawings will make a difference in the fight against violence against children. The sad reality of the matter is that it most likely will not. The people who are set on harming children both mentally and physically many times remain unchanged and undeterred by law enforcement and the shame of being labeled a child abuser, or being found guilty of sexual crimes against children. As a matter of fact, many offenders, especially of sex crimes against children, become repeat offenders after being released from prison for previous crimes, and the nature of new crimes committed are more violent.
Any effort to draw attention to the crimes perpetuated against children is an admirably bold undertaking. The first step in changing society’s consciousness is to make people aware and get the message out that violence against children is taking place, and it’s happening everyday. The Klaas Kids Foundation provides useful information on how to protect children and steps adults can take to create a safe environment for children. There are many laws like Jessica’s Law, Megan’s Law and many more named after children who have been victims of violent crimes, as well as law enforcement programs like the FBI Crimes Against Children program.
Bianca Bosker, “Cartoons From The 80’s, 90’s Take Over Facebook Profile Pictures” huffingtonpost.com
Facebook, “Change your profile picture to a cartoon character campaign” facebook.com