There is currently an uproar that the seemingly innocent game of changing Facebook profile pics from photos of yourself to those of a favorite cartoon character may be a pedophiles ploy. What seemed like an innocent nostalgic lark has been tinged with scandal. But do you think the whole thing was actually concocted to lure children to friend strangers on Facebook? Doubtful.
This isn’t the first time that a viral profile switch project has hit Facebook. In the past users have changed their profile pics to their celebrity doppelgangers and women posted their bra color to raise awareness about breast cancer. This just seems like another viral profile pic game that has hit the site. So how did this one start?
Originally it came from some people in Greece in mid November. The messages said, “From the 16th to the 20th of November, we shall change our profile pictures to our favourite cartoon characters. The purpose of this game is to remove all photos of human for a few days from Facebook.”
Then someone posted on Facebook “: 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!”
Then someone apparently wanted to bring in a angle to be a call of action adding in the child abuse angle. “Change your facebook profile picture to a cartoon character from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday, Dec 6th of 2010, there should be no human faces on facebook, but an invasion of memories! This is for a campaign against violence on children.”
And there are two Facebook pages supporting the viral movement. “Change your profile picture to a cartoon character campaign” and “Change your profile pic to a Cartoon or Comic book character”
So, why did this whole thing get so crazy with rumors of online predators? And why wasn’t it just a game?