There's this meme going around Facebook that reads:
Change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same. Until Monday (Dec.6) there should be no human faces on Facebook, but an invasion of memories. This is a campaign to stop violence against children
And in a matter of days, just last week, almost all of my friends in FB had their profile pictures changed to cartoons and posting the same message above.
My News Feed now looks something like this:
I can't recognize my friends anymore! haha!
It seems really fun, though, and being a bandwagon-victim, I was actually tempted to follow suit and use this:
But I didn't coz at that time I was supporting the HIV/AIDS campaign for World AIDS day and I wanna use the photo from HSC.
So I wrote my piece about getting tested for HIV/AIDS, meanwhile the whole FB world kept on chanting "This is a campaign to stop violence against children".
I was waiting for more... Maybe someone will post something more substantial about the cause... but there was none. As it seems, this so-called campaign started with the slogan "Stop violence against children" and ends with the changing of a profile picture.
Then this article came up and confirmed my suspicions of a hoax. It was a game from the start and it was not a REAL campaign to stop violence against children.
Karen argues though that it still works. It made the issue resurface and brought attention to the issue. And that there is no need for an organization or a movement for it to be a legitimate campaign.
And actually she's very right.
But I have questions waiting to be answered, and I wish the people who shouted "This is a campaign to stop violence against children" to answer these:
- After you have changed your profile pictures to cartoon characters, what have you done PERSONALLY for the cause?
- What facts and figures have you learned that is relevant to violence against children?
- If, by some chance, you learn of an actual case, what are the right steps to take to help stop the violence?
- If we are unable to ACTUALLY stop the violence against children, who are the right people or groups or government offices to go to?
- What have you done to spread the word about this issue?
It is not my wish to start a fight. Truth be told, I am dying to join in the fun. However, I refuse to use a serious issue to "justify" my participation and to use as a "hook" for recruiting my friends.
What we have done is discovered (or demonstrated) a very effective platform (and probably a formula) in spreading awareness.
We have taken the first step. But it doesn't have to end with changing our profile pictures. If we REALLY wanna stop violence against children, we have to do MORE than just change our profile pictures. WE HAVE TO GET INVOLVED even if we're behind the safety of our computers.
As Kate said in our chat earlier, let's not let "the why and how get lost in the fun"
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If you want to learn more about Violence against Children, you may read this study done by UNICEF (there is a case study from the Philippines).
I also stumbled upon this blog about Child Abuse in the Philippines (a little out-dated though).
Also, here's a list of organizations that are involved (in one way or another) in helping children who are abused.