Sunday, December 5, 2010

Slactivisim in action

I'm sure you've noticed the trend on Facebook over the last few days. It goes something like this:

Change your FB profile pic to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal? To not see a real human face on FB till Monday December 6th. Join the fight against child abuse. Copy and paste to your status & invite your friends to do the same.

What, you ask, does posting a cartoon picture have to do with the fight against child abuse? The answer is simple. Absolutely nothing.

We've seen it before. Post the color of your bra to raise breast cancer awareness. Post the location of your purse and join the fight against domestic violence.

The result? First, the clueless are left wondering why there are cartoon pictures everywhere. Then, a whole lot of people feeling like they've done something when, in actuality, they've done nothing. Slactivism at it's best. I'm not faulting anyone with a childhood cartoon as their profile picture; I'm sure their intentions are good. Who doesn't want to join the fight against child abuse? However, someone very close to me who suffered from childhood abuse actually used the term "offensive" to describe the Facebook campaign.

If you want to join the fight against childhood abuse, here are a few ideas:

  • Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) to get help or report abuse.
  • CASA for Children - From their site, "CASA volunteers are everyday citizens judges appoint to advocate for safety and well-being of children who are victims of parental abuse and neglect."
  • Childhelp 
Thanks to my friends who suggested these ways to help.


  1. Finally someone who sees it the way I do! I have never done any of those FB things because I disagree and feel they do nothing to stop anything.

  2. I do like Rainbow Brite! Yeah, I usually am clueless about those FB things. Never got the bra thing and had to ask around to find out what "stupid cartoon thing" people were talking about.

  3. I have a feeling many people like putting up a cartoon as their profile picture because it's fun and aren't that concerned about the message.

  4. Amanda, yes, I agree with that. But, then why link it to a fight against child abuse in the first place? Why not just post it as a silly fb game with no mention to a cause?

  5. I believe that the original 'plan' was to "Change your FB profile pic to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal? To not see a real human face on FB till Monday December 6th." When that did not catch on, someone decided to add a cause in there...which in turn made many people jump on the bandwagon. I just think it is cute seeing some of the old cartoon characters from my past.

  6. yeah there was a thing posted on failbook about this.

  7. It almost seemed like the "fight child abuse" message was added as an afterthought. This was just the impression that I got though. I agree that it was pretty dumb, but most of my friends who changed their profile pictures seemed to realize this too.

  8. Thank you for making this post and not being afraid to speak your mind on things like this! You blaze a trail for others to follow.

  9. I have to agree on this. Even though I have changed my picture to my favo character, it doenst really do shit for kids that are being abused.


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